By Laurie Bassett-Edmonds
PECULIAR – After agreeing to let the Raymore Police Department store its $500,000 command vehicle in West Peculiar Fire Protection District’s Station 2 free of charge for “a few months,” Fire Chief Bobby Sperry has told Police Chief Jan Zimmerman that it’s time to move it after two years.
The vehicle in question is a large RV outfitted with the high-tech equipment needed for mobile command and dispatch in emergency situations.
Although both Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol have similar vehicles, the Raymore City Council it was important for the city to have its own. However, there was no place to store it.
Sperry said he has given Raymore until the first of April to find a new home for it. Frustration has been growing with the vehicle taking up such a large amount of space in the station near the Raymore-Peculiar School District complex, which is actually outside the Raymore city limits.
Fire personnel have been having to work around the unit at the station, Sperry said, and Raymore had shown no plans to move it.
In other business, Sperry gave updates on several programs and purchases in the district during the board meeting Tuesday evening: West Peculiar partnered with the Health Department and the Federal Government for a drive-thru Covid testing station at Station 2 on Jan. 29 and Feb. 5; several firefighters attended Winter Fire School in Columbia and others have been actively seeking additional training and certifications; the new snow plow is in service and working great; the new exercise equipment is in; roof work will begin on Station 1 soon; there were two in-district structure fires and several mutual aid calls last month; and EMS is holding steady with an elevated number of calls, many of them respiratory in nature.
Board members approved the purchase of QuickBooks by April 1. This will allow time for an orderly change over and to have it up and rolling by Oct. 1, which is the beginning of the fiscal year.
Three new firefighters have been hired. Hunter Nelson is full-time, and Will Johnson and Jackson Popplewell will both be part-time. It was unanimously approved to extend the Vaccination Incentive Program to the new hires as funding allows.