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Roane County Commission Chairman James Brummett was surprised to learn county vehicles didn’t have fire extinguishers in them.
“I would have thought we would have had that,” he said.
The vehicles could have some soon.
At the Nov. 19 meeting, commissioners voted to appropriate $25,000 to put fire extinguishers in county vehicles and automatic external defibrillators in county buildings.
Budget director Kaley Walker said the need was discovered through the county’s risk management initiative.
“In discussions, it was discovered that the sheriff’s vehicles, highway department vehicles and regular county vehicles are not equipped with fire extinguishers right now,” Walker said. “Most times, these are the vehicles first on scene at an accident when a fire extinguisher could be the most beneficial to have.”
A total of 160 fire extinguishers will be purchased. Walker said it will be up to the departments to replace them when they get used or expire.
An automatic external defibrillator can send an electric shock to someone who experiences sudden cardiac arrest.
The devices have a track record of saving lives in public places, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The county is purchasing 10 automatic external defibrillators for nine buildings.
The commission is not the first to recognize the benefits of the devices.
In September 2011, the Roane County Board of Education voted to buy 12 automatic external defibrillators for school buildings.
That was in addition to some the school system already had.