Thanks to a grant, the Marion Fire Department managed to purchase two custom-made fire engines. But the deal also requires the town to donate an older truck.
Marion Fire Chief Jerry Odum began looking into purchasing a new engine over a year ago. The last trucks were purchased in 1999 and before that, in 1982. The fire department has four engines and two ladder trucks and Odum says the Marion City Council budgeted for one new engine. But with grant money, he replaced one engine with two new ones. He says the trucks are taller with more storage which makes rescues quicker and more efficient. The engines also have more safety features, like backup cameras. With a few more changes the new trucks will soon hit the road. To get its grant money, Marion has to donate one existing engine to a training facility, so they contacted Rend Lake and it will go to their firefighter academy. The truck will help dozens of coal miners put their skills to the test in the fire brigade competition. Odum hopes to deliver the truck to Rend Lake within in the next two weeks. WSIL TV contributed to this story