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BP donates generator to DFD

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The fire and rescue department may be one step closer to rolling out their haz-mat equipped emergency response trailer with the recent donation of a 20 horsepower generator from BP.

Ralph Holbrook, terminal manager for BP Demopolis, said the company donated the generator after talking with the department about some of their needs.

With the addition of the generator to help run the unit, Chie Ron Few said they are looking into more equipment to outfit the truck before using it on any calls. While they do have some equipment to accommodate haz-mat calls, such as suits and breathing masks, there is more equipment needed.

Few said they hope to purchase more breathing apparatuses and meters that read chemical levels. Another important addition to the mobile unit will be a place to store a library of information on different kinds of chemicals and the appropriate protocols for containing them.

Few said the new equipment will be an important addition to the emergency response vehicle, as it will help supply power to run the sophisticated equipment on board the trailer. As for their donors, Few said he is pleased at the partnership.

James Suttles of Suttles Trucking Company donated the vehicle to the department in August. Suttles said his company had used the trailer for 15 years to respond to overturned tankers in the field and contain any hazardous materials before they became a problem. The donation was a result of a coordinated effort with Suttles, Councilman Melvin Yelverton, Capt. Tommy Tate and other members of the fire department.

In 2007, the department responded to 13 haz-mat calls. In 2006, they responded to at least 12 calls related to hazardous materials.