The Roodhouse Fire Department is expected to receive a new, state-of-the-art rescue truck in the coming months thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and some help from 13th District Congressman Rodney Davis.
Davis announced last month that the Roodhouse Fire Department received a $40,500 grant from the Community Facility Disaster Grants program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The total cost of the rescue truck is $115,900, and a commercial loan in the amount of $75,400 will be made to the department along with the grant to complete the purchase.
Fire Chief Terry Hopkins says that there will be a delay in getting the truck into action: “The original [truck] came in about a week and a half ago. What we had done, we put in for a brand new 2019 truck. Since then, it had been sold, so now we have to go with a 2021 model. That one got approved [on Monday] at about 2PM. It will take us approximately 6 1/2 months to get it. We are hoping to get it [in service] some time in September or the first part of October.”
Hopkins says getting the rescue truck is the culmination of a year’s worth of work on the department’s part. The new 2021 Dodge Ram 5500 4×4 Crew Cab truck will replace the current rescue truck that’s been in service since 1983. Hopkins says that the older truck is still working but it is no longer cost effective to keep up the maintenance. He says the department will be putting up the classic rescue truck for bid to help offset some of the cost of the new vehicle.
Hopkins says that Roodhouse Police Chief Kyle Robison was instrumental in letting the department know about the USDA grant. He says that Robison has used the grant to purchase squad cars in the past. Hopkins also says that the new vehicle will be instrumental in the 250-275 medical calls his department responds to annually.