Madison County assists Cottage Hill Fire District in obtaining emergency vehicle

CottageHillsFire online

Madison County Board member James Futrell (left front) and Cottage Hills Fire Protection District Chief Steven Quartermouse are pictured with a vehicle purchased by the district from the county for $1. Volunteers with the fire district stand in the background. The district held an open house Sunday to kick off National Fire Safety Prevention week. 

Madison County assists Cottage Hills Fire District

EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County assisted Cottage Hills Fire District this week in obtaining an emergency vehicle for its first responders.

Madison County Board member James Futrell, District 13, presented keys to a decommissioned police cruiser on Sunday to Fire Chief Steven Quartermouse. Futrell attended the Fire District’s open house that kicked off National Fire Safety Prevention week this week.

“First responders do so much in our communities and many departments don’t have the funding to purchase the equipment they need,” Futrell said. “Selling the car for this price is an extremely small token of appreciation we have for our first responders.”

He said by assisting the department with obtaining the former Sheriff’s Department car for $1 the district can put its tax dollars into purchasing other life-saving equipment.

“The majority of fire departments in Madison County are volunteer departments,” he said. “It’s something the county can do to help.”

County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler said the county makes the vehicles available to governmental entities after being taken out of service due to high mileage or age. The county initiated the program more than 12 years ago for municipalities and emergency service departments.

Quartermouse said the 2009 Ford Crown Victoria with 124,000 miles would be used as the chief’s vehicle; however it would be loaded with emergency equipment that could be used immediately to aid first responders’ arrival at emergency calls.

“The vehicle will allow me to make a quick response rather than go into the station,” Quartermouse said.

He said the car needs some minor body work. The driver’s side rear door and front quarter-panel are damaged and will be replaced with parts of a car that is being scrapped by the county.

Futrell said vehicle purchase comes at an important time for the department. In August, when responding to a fire, the district’s pumper truck sustained heavy damage when the driver of a pick-up truck T-boned it.

He said the district is looking at obtaining a new pumper in the future, which would include applying for grants and or a loan through the county’s community development funding.

Quartermouse, who took the reigns as chief in late June, said he appreciates the county and Futrell for making the purchase possible.

Futrell said he also appreciated the assistance from County Board member Tom McRae, District 14, and Administrative Services Office Manager Linda Ogden.