New additions to Oak Grove VFD
by Mark Ledbetter
The Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department was given a boost Tuesday night when the town council approved adding a new firefighter to the team and purchasing turnout gear.

The Oak Grove Town Council approved the appointment of Leslie Marie Baker, adding her as the second female member of the VFD and bringing the total number of firefighters to 20.

The council also approved purchasing a set of turnout gear. The personal protection equipment is required and must meet National Fire Protection standards. According to code 1975, the “main purpose is that no part of the uniform garment ‘ignite, melt, drip or separate’ when exposed to a heat of 500°F for five minutes.”

Alabama Forestry Specialist Josh Benefield of the Alabama Forestry Commission addressed the council, announcing plans to include Oak Grove in the commission’s Firewise Communities. Benefield said the program is free and could possibly improve ISO ratings and affect insurance ratings.

Councilman David Harris reported an incident that took place recently that damaged two pumps on the eastern sewer pump station. Harris said he and a technician discovered the breakers on the pumps, as well as the pumps themselves, were severely damaged. The breakers had to be replaced, and an auxiliary pump had to be temporarily installed while the original pumps are being repaired.

Harris said the exact cause of the shortage was not known.

The council approved paying up to $5,000 for the repair of one pump and a service call, as well as the services of People’s Sanitation to pump sewage from the pumping tanks so the damaged pumps could be extracted and the temporary pump installed.

Harris suggested the council consider, at some future date, looking into purchasing a mobile auxiliary pump and generator for future events requiring backup services.

In other business, the council:

• Approved a resolution entering into an agreement with Easter Seals Central Alabama for senior aide.

• Approved expenses for Mayor Tony White to attend planning and zoning certification training being hosted in Sylacauga, and for any council member to attend the Aug. 7 Certified Municipal Official training in Montgomery.

• Appropriated $1,500 for the installation of a new Weather Siren.

• Approved renewing a Certificate of Deposit.

• Appropriated funds to repair an individual’s personal vehicle, which was damaged by rocks and debris coming from a town lawn mower.

Contact Mark Ledbetter at
© 2013