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Posted on: October 7, 2019

Oconee County BOC Approves Purchase of New Fire Engine for Station 5

Funding provided by 2015 SPLOST

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of a new 2019 Sutphen Engine for Fire Station 5, located at 4931 Greensboro Highway, Watkinsville, at its October 1 regular meeting.

The new engine will replace the 30-year-old engine currently in service at Station 5, and the older engine will be used as a reserve engine. The new engine will cost $494,558 and will be paid for with proceeds from the 2015 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). 

The new engine, which can pump 1,500 gallons per minute and has a 1,000-gallon capacity water tank, has a custom cab which seats a driver and three additional firefighters. The engine is a “clean cab” concept design, in which all self-contained breathing apparatus gear is stored in a compartment in the body of the vehicle and not inside the cab. The clean cab concept reduces carcinogens that firefighters are exposed to from contaminants left on the equipment after fires. 

This vehicle will be the sixth engine and eighth fire rescue vehicle purchased since 2003 from manufacturer Sutphen Corporation, a family-owned business located in Columbus, Ohio. Oconee County Fire Rescue continues to update and standardize the fire vehicle fleet, which limits repairs and maintenance and allows volunteers to become thoroughly skilled in the operation of a single brand of truck. 

Estimated delivery of this new engine is expected in approximately one year. A new bay will be built to accommodate this engine, because the depth and width of current Station 5 bays will not be sufficient to house the new vehicle. 

“As Fire Chief, I appreciate the BOC’s approval for a new engine,” says Chief Bruce Thaxton. “This is the first new engine for Station 5, and it will enhance our operations and response to fires in the Station 5 zone. The Station 5 officers and volunteer firefighters are excited about the purchase of the new engine for their station.”