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July 2, 2014

Government stops sending surplus equipment to fire departments

(Continued)

Oklahoma City —

   Mike Honigsberg, director of emergency management for Enid and Garfield County, said a dozen rural departments in his area are supported by a sales tax. But he criticized the decision to stop the surplus program as another intrusion by the federal government into local affairs.

   “They’ll hurt some departments out there,” he said.

   Instead, Geissler said the federal government will send surplus vehicles — even those with only 1,000 miles — to depots and supply yards to be crushed or scraped.

   “This was an alternative to just crushing them,” he said. “This was all this equipment that had useful life. It allowed rural fire departments and those out in rural areas to provide for wildland fire defense. It gives these vehicles that still have a useful purpose kind of that second lease on life.”

   Geissler said state officials are working with the state's congressional delegation in hopes of finding a solution.

 

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