Christmas came early for the Rainsville police and fire departments this year.
The three new emergency personnel vehicles and new Toughbook laptops are finally being implemented in day-to-day use after being approved by the city council in early October.
Councilman Derek Rosson proposed the upgrades to replace two 2006 Crown Victoria patrol cars that were nearing 300,000 miles and the “rugged use” laptops to offer improved work environments for police officers and firemen.
“I’m just so thankful that I got to be a part of making our emergency personnel better prepared and more up to date,” Rosson said. “That was one of my main goals if I was blessed enough to be a councilman.”
The two 2018 Tahoe SUVs for the police department totaled $38,419.63 each, the fire department’s SUV was $32,969, and the 19 Panasonic Toughbooks were $11,647.
According to www.panasonic.com, Toughbooks are designed for “rugged” use and are water and dirt resistant, drop shock protected and have the lowest failure rate in the computer industry. The handheld and mounted computers are used for military deployments, emergency responder services and other intensive work environments.
“These Toughbooks will last every bit of ten years, if not longer,” Police Chief Kevin Smith said. “They’re a much-needed update to our computer systems.”
Smith said both departments received their new vehicles earlier this month, and the new additions have already made a world of difference for officers Dusty Garrison and Matt Crum. Smith said an officer’s patrol car is their mobile office, so they need to have spacious, comfortable work environments. The Tahoes were a good choice to replace the Crown Victorias, he said.
“Councilman Rosson has worked really hard to get us these updates,” Smith said. “These are needs for our department, not wants, and when we have the equipment we need we can get to calls more easily and better serve our officers and residents. Those Tahoes were a much-needed update to the fleet, as well. They absolutely love them.”