PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – A new tool will help firefighters in Pittsylvania County as they respond to emergencies.
An air truck worth hundreds of thousands of dollars was donated to crews Wednesday morning at Mount Hermon Fire and Rescue.
“We got a little truck for you,” Mike Ownbey, President & CEO of Morgan Olson, says.
That “little truck” is about a $175,000 gift from Morgan Olson to Pittsylvania County Public Safety. Morgan Olson builds walk-in vans and has a facility in Ringgold.
While emergency crews hope they never get to use it, there’s relief in knowing it’s there.
“Right now, it takes about an hour to get a truck down here from the northern end for such,” Public Safety Director Chris Slemp says. “This will get that within a 20-minute timeframe.”
Slemp and his crew of 400 volunteer firefighters help protect the Commonwealth’s largest and most rural county.
It’s why Board of Supervisors Chairman, Bob Warren, says they’re on a mission to get these heroes the funding they need. The truck is just a piece of it.
“The more calls we can get to and the quicker we can get there, the more likely we are to save lives,” Warren says. “Our volunteers do an outstanding job, they give countless hours and they’re invaluable.”
Many of those volunteers show up to help in their own vehicles, without an air tank. The truck has an air pumping tank, critical for the safety of crews.
It will also give them a space to treat tired or hurt volunteers on the job.
“We couldn’t have afforded this for probably another two to three years at least,” Slemp says. “This puts us so far ahead.”
Not only will this truck help keep emergency crews safe and healthy, but you, too. It will be used throughout the region in surrounding counties and cities.
Pittsylvania Public Safety says this is the second truck of its kind in the county. The current one is stored on the north end. This gift will be kept on the south end, and will be put to use soon.