By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
LINDSAY – With fresh cash coming into City coffers soon, Lindsay needs to make some decisions on what they want to spend it on first. At their Sept. 12 City Council meeting last week, they decided their first major purchase would be a fire truck.
Between manufacturers like Rosenbauer, E-One (Emergecny One Inc.) and Pierce Manufacturing, public safety chief Chris Hughes recommended the City go with Pierce. During the item, Hughes said Rosenbauer has a quick turnaround time on order, but only because of their cookie cutter design. He added that complaints from other fire departments have centered around a lack of customization that has led to wasted space.
The E-One manufacturer was very similar to Rosenbauer in terms of turnaround time but they do allow for more customization and costs $660,000. Pierce Manufacturing on the other hand allows for unique customizations depending on the order. Pierce also has a shop in California if there is a need for repairs, but the headquarters is in Wisconsin and it will take about a year to build.
“We get a brand new fire engine and that’s super exciting. [Getting a new engine is] not something I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said Hughes. “And it is something that we need.”
Hughes added that Truck 87, a 1983 Spartan Van Pelt, is antiquated and has become unreliable for fighting fires.
“Sometimes we pull it out and it works like a champ but sometimes we pull it out and we can’t get it to do nothing. It’s old and it’s temperamental. But fortunately we only use it five times a year,” Hughes said.
Truck 87 was purchased from the City of Porterville in the early 2000’s and according to Hughes’ staff report it, “Cannot be counted on by members of this department which places the members of the this department as well as the citizens of Lindsay at risk during fire suppression efforts.”
The City intends to finance the truck over 10 years at $66,000 to $67,000 per year. Fortunately the City does not have to make their first payment until they receive the engine. During construction Pierce will fly out Hughes and other staff members to Wisconsin to inspect the work and then drive the engine to the City.