A number of rescue squads in Nelson County will receive new emergency vehicles and equipment within the next year.

On Aug. 13, the Nelson County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve an 80/20 emergency grant to help cover $390,993 for the Faber Volunteer Fire Department to purchase a new truck. The grant means the county will cover 80% of the cost and the recipient is responsible for the rest.

In a letter to the county asking the board to approve the emergency grant for the purchase, Raymond Cook, chief of the Faber Fire Department, told the county the new truck would help protect the increasing number of homes in the wooded areas the rescue squad covers. According to its website, the Faber Fire Department covers an area of approximately 74 square miles with a population of 2,000 people.

“The new rescue/pumper will help us protect Schuyler, which has hydrants, support other Nelson jurisdictions, and work the increasing number of vehicle accidents (nearly 100 last year), as the travel volume on [U.S.] 29 (17,000 per day) and [Virginia] 6 (6,000 +), increases,” the letter read.

Daniel Johnson, president of the Nelson County Emergency Services Council, also submitted a letter to County Administrator Steve Carter, stating the truck is a good purchase price and will be an asset for all of Nelson County.

“We feel the purchase amount of $390,993 is a value when replacing a truck that is 31 years old,” Johnson said.

The board discussed the funding, which is not currently in the budget for fiscal year 2020. Candy McGarry, director of finance, said the money is due when the truck is delivered a year from now, and therefore they could sign the check as part of the fiscal year 2021 budget.

The five board members also voted unanimously to approve applications for funding from an emergency services loan fund for the Piney River and Rockfish River Volunteer Fire Departments. The board approved Piney River and Rockfish River Volunteer Fire Department applications to purchase equipment for $280,000 total between the two departments using the county’s emergency services loan fund. Carter said the fund is $1 million set aside to provide interest free loans for the county’s fire and rescue agencies.

The Piney River Volunteer Fire Department submitted an interest free loan request of $80,000 to help purchase a 2004 Freightliner Tanker with a water capacity of 3,000 gallons. The Rockfish River Volunteer Fire Department submitted an interest free loan request for $200,000 to help fund an array of items including power load systems in two units, a new Cardiac Monitor, two new computers for patient documentation, and equipping a new truck.

The Nelson County Emergency Services Council approved these funding requests to go to the county at its July meeting and Johnson noted the state will give the Rockfish River Volunteer Fire Department $77,000 back from a state grant request, which will help repay the loan.

Faber’s new rescue pumper won’t delivered until a year after the contract is signed.

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Erin Conway covers Nelson County for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5524.

Erin Conway covers Nelson County. Reach her at (434) 385-5524 or econway@newsadvance.com.

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