D'IBERVILLE was able to buy two new fire pumpers this year, thanks in part to revenue generated by the new Scarlet Pearl Casino, and on Thursday Chief Gerald Smith donated one of the trucks being replaced to the Diamondhead Fire Department.
"We've had it since it was new," Smith told Diamondhead Fire Chief Jerry Dubuisson as he presented him with the 1998 custom pumper outside the D'Iberville Fire Station. "It's been a good truck," Smith said, adding he doesn't know how many miles it's logged because the digital odometer doesn't always work.
"You know this is 'as is,'" Smith joked.
Dubuisson said he is excited to get the pumper. "This gives us a truck 25 years newer than our reserve truck," he said. When the reserve truck goes down for service or maintenance, Diamondhead has had to borrow a truck from other cities for its 15-person, two station department. Dubuisson said residents wondered why a truck with a Long Beach logo was responding to an accident in Diamondhead.
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His fire department is still part of the fire protection district and has not yet been taken over by the city of Diamondhead, which is similar to how D'Iberville operated.
D'Iberville was South Mississippi's youngest city for 24 years until Diamondhead was incorporated in 2012.
"When we first started we had people help us," Smith said. "We're happy to be in the position to help someone out."
Selling the truck would bring only about $5,000, he said, and although donating it won't help D'Iberville taxpayers, "it just comes back to communities helping communities. We're just looking out for each other."
Last year, D'Iberville donated its other replaced truck to a fire department in Pearl River County.
Danny Manley from Pearl River County came to thank the mayor and D'Iberville council in person for the donation.
"We've exhausted every state grant," he told them. The fire companies are 100 percent volunteer, he said, and the donated truck now provides coverage in what was uncovered areas of the county.