New Fire Truck Too Big For Station, Sits Out Of Service

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For a small fire department in the Shoals, a new fire truck becomes the department's pride and joy.

It's the only new truck the Colbert Heights Volunteer Fire Department has ever owned.

But before this truck even helped fight a fire, it's out of operation, at least for now.

That's because the truck sits 10 feet 1 inch tall.  The garage opening sits 10 feet tall.

The truck is taller than the truck bay.

To some, a one inch difference may seem like a slight calculation error, but the Colbert Heights Assistant Fire Chief says this prevents the department from holding the truck at its station.

It’s a little detail that makes a big difference.  Now the firefighters can`t use the new piece of equipment.

“To be able to use it in our communitym it`s going to have to go in this station,” said Assistant Fire Chief, Mike McMinn.

To help make the truck fit, the firefighters took off the lights, dismantled the equipment, and even tried holding in the doors.

“It just kinda deflated from there,” said McMinn.  But the Colbert Heights Assistant Fire Chief isn't talking about the truck.  He's talking about their spirits.

That’s because no matter how hard the firefighters pushed and shoved and willed the metal truck to fit, it just wouldn't squeeze into place properly.

“It’s not helping the community right now where it is,” said McMinn.  We`ve gotta get it up here so where we can use it.”

So now the fire department must build a bay to fit the truck.  The plan is to build on to the existing fire department.

“It was kinda depressing after getting the elation of having the first new truck this station has ever seen,” said McMinn.

The assistant fire chief expects the expansion project to cost nearly $13,000.

To help with the cost the fire depart is holding several fundraisers, and will accept donations.

On Saturday May 18th the department will hold a barbeque dinner fundraiser at the Colbert Heights First Baptist Church from 4:00-7:00 p.m.  Plates cost $8.00.  These fundraisers are held every second Saturday of the month.