© 2024. Randolph Hub. All Rights Reserved.


Spot picked for AFD’s third station

Janet Imrick

Randolph Hub


ASHEBORO – City of Asheboro Fire Chief Willie Summers says new fire engines are on a four-year backlog, but a new quick response truck could be available within two weeks.


On Nov. 7, the city council approved his request to buy a truck for a quick response team, estimated to cost $290,000.

"It's essentially an F-5500," Chief Summers said. He said it's a more appropriate vehicle for certain calls, such as storm damage. He said it would ease the workload of the department’s ladder trucks, one of which is nearing the end of its recommended lifespan.


"It would help reduce that maintenance call," Summers said. "It would increase the longevity of our fleet, enhance service delivery and reduce operational costs."


It would also free up personnel for more calls, since this truck would only require a two-person crew compared to the four-person crew required for a ladder truck. The truck would be housed at Station 1.


One of AFD’s two ladder trucks was made in 1988. At 25 years old, the National Fire Protection Association says a truck is due to be retired.


City Manager John Ogburn said the timing is critical because the autoworkers' strike will put further strain on vehicle production and supply across the country.


Council member Charles Swiers asked when the response vehicle would be used as opposed to the ladder trucks. Chief Summers said the fire command staff are working on the deployment policy.


Council member Bill McCaskill asked if storing it at Station 1 will affect response times to North Asheboro. Chief Summers said the plan is to keep using fire engines to answer calls in North Asheboro, and that Station 1 makes sense because most of its calls come from the central and downtown area.


The city council approved an ordinance to amend the general fund to pay for the vehicle, using installment financing proceeds approved in July.


It was the first of two items the council voted on during the November meeting related to the fire department. It also approved an ordinance to buy land for a permanent third fire station, appropriating $120,000 from the General Fund Balance.


The council picked a 3.25-acre plot along Crestview Church Road and Zoo Parkway. It's expected to cost $113,750. Financial officer Debbie Reaves said grant money to help fund the purchase is also available. The mayor was granted authority to execute the offer no later than Dec. 29.


The land was chosen based on:

— The growth rate in the southern part of Asheboro.

— The land's accommodation of a station's infrastructure.

— Its ability to keep response times to five minutes or less.

— Maintenance of the fire department's ISO 1 rating.


A right-turn lane would be added to Zoo Parkway, and the owner will be granted a temporary access easement until the public right-of-way is complete.


Construction along the right-of-way is expected to begin next year.


Chief Summers said, "We're not only building for the here and now, but we're building for the future."