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$50,000 truck purchased by county

July 27, 2000

$50,000 truck purchased by county



By ANDREW SCHOTZ / Staff Writer, Martinsburg


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Berkeley County is replacing its hazardous materials response vehicle, which is a converted soda delivery truck with 344,000 miles on its odometer.

The Berkeley County Commissioners on Thursday approved the purchase of another vehicle, a 1984 GMC/Ranger, from West Potomac Fire Equipment in Williamsport, Md.

The $50,000 purchase price is covered by a state economic development grant secured by state Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley.

Stephen S. Allen, the director of the Berkeley County Office of Emergency Services, said the new truck is designed for emergency calls. The current truck, which had a 1977 Chevy chassis, was not. Allen said it was donated by Pepsi Cola in Williamsport eight years ago.

The GMC/Ranger has fewer than 60,000 miles of use. It has an 18-foot walk-in unit, a 12-watt generator and spotlights, he said.

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The county will probably pick up the truck next week, then equip it with radios and register it, Allen said.

Up to eight people can ride in the new truck, he said. The current one has room for two passengers; other people had to ride in a separate vehicle.

Allen said the hazardous materials vehicle is used to clean up spills once or twice a month. It can also be a command center for other calls, such as fires.

The new vehicle may eventually be used by all three Eastern Panhandle counties. Allen said the state's Office of Emergency Services might help create a regional hazardous materials response team.

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