Tuesday marked a milestone in the history of the Berea Volunteer Fireman’s Association when the Berea Volunteer Fire & Rescue Squad took possession of their first firetruck, donated to them in a unanimous decision of the Berea City Council.
Captain Mike Morris, who has served with the volunteers for nearly 40 years, said receiving the truck will help the unit give volunteers a broader range of instruction, including how to operate the equipment during an emergency.
“We’ll have better trained volunteers because they’ll have to learn to engineer the truck,” Morris said. “This gives us another important tool for training.”
Perhaps more important to citizens is the fact that the volunteers are sometimes the first on the scene of an emergency. In receiving the 2001 Freightliner Cummins Fire Engine, the volunteers will be equipped to deal with an emergency on the scene immediately and to assist the Berea Fire Department. “This is going to help us a lot,” Morris said of the engine, which can pump 1,250 gallons of water per minute. “It will make us a true fire department.”
Chief Shawn Sandlin said the city had two choices when it came to the truck, which had reached the end of its service life for the city. The city could have auctioned it off, but by donating it to the Berea Volunteer Firefighter’s Association, the volunteers have a crucial piece of equipment that they can use to support the operations of the Berea Fire Department.
“They are pretty much our support for the fire department on every call,” Sandlin said of the volunteers, whether it’s responding to traffic accidents, fighting fires, helping in rescue operations at the Pinnacles, or serving as a backup when the city fire department has an unusually heavy volume of calls. “They do it all, and this is going to be a real benefit to us,” Sandlin said.
In accepting the new engine, Morris expressed gratitude to Chief Sandlin, the Berea City Council, and Mayor Bruce Fraley for their continued support of the volunteers. Fraley noted that because of what the volunteers do for Berea, it was an easy decision when it came to donating the firetruck.
“The volunteers provide a vital service to our community, and to provide them with this type of equipment is the right thing to do for Berea,” said Mayor Fraley.