6/19/2013 6:00 PM
by Karen Franklin
SOPHIA - It's out with the old and in with the new at the Sophia Area Fire Department.
Officials are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on new trucks and safety equipment, which are in much need of replacing.
"If the levy hadn't passed, I don't know where we'd be," Chief Ronny Hawley said. "We certainly wouldn't have the new trucks, which we need to keep the service provided for the area."
The department is awaiting the arrival of a new engine and bunker gear. It recently purchased a chassis and refurbished a tanker.
Kevin Price works with the budgets of the volunteer fire departments. Standardization is his one big goal.
"If one department pulls up, and they need air bottles, well they got the same equipment," Price told Newswatch. "They can just go back and get that air bottle. It fits."
Residents who heard the news were excited to get the support.
"Knowing that we do have a rescue squad -- and they're trained and qualified people -- it eases your mind when you get ready to go to bed at night," said lifelong resident David Frame.
He and John Fanary voted for the levy when it came around.
"I think it's a great idea," Fanary said. "They know what we need, and they know how to get it accomplished."
They said knowing where their money goes is a big relief.
"That means a lot when you're a taxpayer and you're struggling and you're working," Frame said. "I wonder what this money is going for, and that's accountability. You won't have to wonder. You'll know."