Board approves funding for new ambulance, ladder truck

Published 6:19 am Wednesday, June 30, 2021

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The Southampton County Board of Supervisors voted June 22 to approve the capital funding request from Franklin Fire & Rescue in the amount of $60,000 to aid with the purchase of a new ambulance and ladder truck.

“It’s certainly money well spent,” Jerusalem District Supervisor and Board Chair Dr. Alan Edwards said prior to the vote. 

There was no discussion among the supervisors aside from the motion and second that quickly led to the vote.

In the board packet, County Administrator Michael Johnson explained the capital funding request in greater detail, noting that Franklin Fire & Rescue was requesting drawdown of a portion of its accrued capital funding. 

He stated that the agency would be drawing down its remaining funds from fiscal years 2013 and 2014 along with a portion of its fiscal year 2015 funding, all totaling $60,000, which would be used to defray expenses associated with the purchase of a new 2021 ambulance and 104-foot ladder truck.

“As you recall, capital funding in specified amounts has been set aside annually for each fire department and rescue squad since FY 2000,” Johnson wrote. “These funds are held in escrow until a request to draw them down is approved by the Board of Supervisors. Escrowed funds continue to accrue for each department/squad if they are not drawn down on an annual basis.”

Entering the June 22 meeting, Johnson wrote that to date, the county had collectively appropriated $2.9 million for fire and rescue improvements since 2000 and was holding $508,777 in escrow.

Franklin Chief of Emergency Services Vernie W. Francis III submitted the capital funding request in a June 9 letter to Johnson.

“Franklin Fire & Rescue is excited to announce the purchase of a new 2021 ambulance — this unit will replace our existing Medic 5 — and a Rosenbauer 104-foot Cobra Ladder Truck,” Francis wrote.