By Morgan Bryce

Smiths Station’s Fire and Rescue Unit unveiled the latest addition to its fleet of medical vehicles during a press conference last Tuesday morning.

In attendance were multiple dignitaries, including Smiths Station Mayor Bubba Copeland, House District 38 Rep. Debbie Wood, Alabama State Sen. Randy Price and Lee County Commissioner Gary Long.

Funding for the ambulance was provided by the Lee County Fire and Ambulance Transport fees, enabling the SSFR to purchase its first new “Advanced Life Support” ambulance, which costed nearly $216,000. Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Sexton described the vehicle’s features in further detail.

“It has all the equipment needed for advanced life support and transports, heart monitors, CPR machines, safety features included with the stretcher. In the event of a wreck, this is a new type of stretcher that won’t become dislodged and helps protect the patient while they are being transported,” Sexton said.

Copeland and Price both shared their thoughts on the ambulance and what it means for the city moving forward.

“When an emergency happens, being able to service the citizens in the correct way with the best technology possible is what we’re looking for. And that’s what our fire department strives to do,” Copeland said. “They’re constantly working to do better and this is a result of that. I would put our fire department against other fire department in the area.”

“Of course, no one wants to have an ambulance come to their home, but at the same time, when you have not only this kind of equipment and staff put together, it’s just a great day for the people here in the city of Smiths Station,” Price said.

Established Sept. 29, 1966, SSFR has seen substantial growth since its founding, expanding to six stations across the community and serving a local fire district that boasts a total of more than 35,000 people. With the exception of paramedics and emergency medical technicians, the department is 100 percent volunteer.

For more information, call 334-521-2221.