Our Opinion: FD put in tough situation

By EDITORIAL STAFF,

The Decatur Fire Department has had a tough time with one of its fire trucks. Recently, one of its pumper trucks had its computer programming fail.

There was nothing that the fire department did wrong. It was just simply a computer failure. And unfortunately, the computer cannot be easily fixed. Because the fire truck is more than five years old, it cannot have its programming fixed, thanks to the fire truck company who only holds on to spare programming for five years before it gets “filed.” In other words, that program is lost forever.

To correct the problem, the fire department is having to get the truck that is otherwise fine rewired so that its emergency lights work and it can be used to pump water on emergency scenes.

It’s ridiculous that a company doesn’t keep computer programming for such an important piece of equipment that could potentially put people’s lives in danger.

The truck has been out of service for a while now, and if the city’s fire service was rated by ISO, its rating would drop significantly.

The only options are to repair the truck or — probably the intentions of the company — buy a new one.

Usually, a fire department is responsible for the maintenance and repairs of their trucks. However, in this instance, the Newton County Board of Supervisors is likely going to step in and help fund the repairs.

We applaud the board of supervisors for their willingness stepping up to the plate and helping the department with these needed repairs. This is an unusual situation. This truck is one that is used frequently, not only in Decatur, but all over the county.

Decatur responds to a high volume of calls, and because of that effort, they need a fire truck that works to not only keep Decatur safe but the entire county.

As the county and departments purchase trucks, we have to make sure that we be wary of such issues in the future.