LISBON - A truck that served as the county Emergency Management Agency's mobile command center but was never used will see new life as part of the county hazardous material response team.
Columbiana County commissioners have transferred the vehicle to the East Liverpool Fire Department, which is the state-designated hazmat response agency for the county, where it will used as the hazmat response vehicle.
The box GMC truck was purchased by the EMA in 2005 for $58,794 with federal Homeland Security funds received by the agency. The plan was to convert the truck into the EMA's mobile command center, and some radio equipment and cabinets were installed, but it was never used in the field, according to interim EMA Director Edie Dillard.
The local homeland security advisory committee, which decides how the EMA's annual allocation of Homeland Security money is spent in the county, voted at its Aug. 17 meeting to donate the vehicle to East Liverpool for use as a hazmat vehicle.
Last year, East Liverpool created a hazmat response team to serve the county and northern Hancock County in West Virginia, with the city fire department serving as the lead agency, and fire departments from other communities assigning personnel to the team.
The vehicle donation comes from with some stipulations: If the vehicle is not fully operational within one year of East Liverpool receiving its hazmat certification, the truck must be returned. The same goes if the hazmat team is ever dissolved.
The agreement also requires the vehicle be made available for use in responding to other emergencies in the county, and the hazmat team would be responsible for getting it to the scene.
"I hope we never have to use it, but if we do it'll be available," said Commissioner Jim Hoppel.