By JOSEPH MARTIN
ONE FEATHER STAFF
A volunteer fire department serving a tribal community could get some help in obtaining vital and updated equipment to fight fires. Tribal Council approved a resolution Aug. 2 to help the Snowbird Volunteer Fire Department obtain a new fire truck to use in carrying out its duties.
Tribal Council approved measures for the vice chief to carry out a lease-purchase agreement for a class A fire truck in 1988 for that fire department to use in service to the Snowbird community. The department received instead a used fire truck from the Cherokee Fire Department.
With new facilities in close proximity, a new rehabilitation center, a complex supporting numerous tribal programs, including a health clinic and recreation, Tribal Council Chairman Adam Wachacha, of Snowbird, and Snowbird – Cherokee County Rep. Bucky Brown, feel that a new fire truck is necessary for the department.
“The Robbinsville Fire Department has a response time of 30 – 40 minutes, or the Santeetleh Fire Department has a response time of over 45 minutes,” Rep. Brown and Chairman Wachacha’s resolution states. “The Snowbird Volunteer Fire Department is the closest. However, their fire truck is outdated.”
Rep. Brown said a new crew cab truck will allow better and faster response to the rehabilitation center, which is located up on a mountain. It would allow more crew to fit into a vehicle. “We’re glad the tribe has passed it. It’s long overdue.”
Chairman Wachacha said they were trying to meet the needs of his community. “Even a volunteer fire department can serve the needs of the Tribe.”