Among the items discussed as county commissioners chewed over the budget was buying smaller trucks for the county fire department, trucks that could be used when they get called out to incidents that don’t require firefighting equipment. The large engines get about 9 to 10 miles per gallon.
Firefighters often respond to medical calls, and as Fire Chief Jack Burnsed explained to commissioners, their strength in numbers often is needed — especially if the person needing assistance is, well, large.
“And the EMTs can’t pick them up,” he said. “There are times when it takes six or seven firefighters to pick them up.”
The chief said it was explained to him by his predecessor that if the fire department stopped responding to medical calls, it would open the door to potential liability. Each call out, he added, also costs the department about $400, figures that also may be a few years old.
“It’s probably gone up,” he said.
Also, the county now has begun putting up videos of the commission meetings on its YouTube channel. Go to www.effinghamcounty.org, find the Links tab (mine shows up on the very bottom of the page) and click on Effingham County Government YouTube Channel.