published Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Dayton fire, police seeking better gear

  • photo
    Dayton, Tenn., firefighter Nathan Green demonstrates how they'd use the Glas-Master on the laminated windshield of a vehicle. The department recently purchased an assortment of rescue equipment, obtained with a $10,000 Governor's Highway Safety Office grant. The assortment included bolt cutters, chains, Stokes basket, stabilization jack, helmets, traffic cones, window punch for tempered glass. Photo by Kimberly McMillian
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DAYTON, Tenn. — Dayton’s fire and police chiefs asked the City Council this week to approve the purchase of a number of big-ticket items.

Fire Chief Chuck Suttles told the council Monday night that the department needed equipment such as the Jaws of Life and various cutters, pumps and hoses. The total cost for the items, Suttles said, would be nearly $20,000.

Suttles said his department has received two donations. One, a $10,000 Governor’s Highway Safety Office grant, helped with the purchase of smaller items including helmets and stabilization jacks. He said about $1,800 of the grant was used for training and medical supplies.

After the meeting, Suttles said firefighters had built their own cribbing device with wood donated by 84 Lumber. The device can help stabilize a vehicle at the scene of an accident.

The board OK’d Suttles’ seeking bids for the gear.

Police Chief Chris Sneed asked to buy reconditioned 800 MHz radios and to sell the department’s old portable radios to a county fire department. He said six radios would remain available in case one malfunctioned.

Sneed said officers often have problems with radio reception inside factories, and that poor cellphone reception could delay their response time.

“I want to buy something compatible” with county and state law enforcement equipment, he said.

Vice Mayor Steve Randolph said they might need to seek bids from at least two or three vendors.

The board authorized Sneed to seek bids.

Sneed also told the council that one of the department’s K-9 dogs had started to lose his eyesight, and that a new dog would cost nearly $10,000. He said Officer Jason Woody has raised most of the $6,800 collected so far, and asked the council to approve the remaining $3,200 needed.

The council approved that expense.

City Manager Frank Welch and Sneed also asked the council to approve an auction to dispose of older and abandoned vehicles occupying downtown lots.

“We need the room,” Sneed said.

The council asked the men to inventory vehicles and return before the panel later to set an auction date.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bellsouth.net.

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