City to purchase rescue truck for fire department

By Lynn R. Parks

The city of Seaford is buying a new rescue truck for the Seaford Volunteer Fire Department. Cost: $756,000.

The money will come out of the city's equipment reserve fund, which currently has a balance of $801,000. The city sets aside money every year to put toward rescue trucks and aerial trucks, two high-ticket items that the fire department replaces every 25 years.

The department's current rescue truck was purchased in 1986 for $250,000. A committee of fire department members has been in place for two years to decide what the department wants in its new truck.

Committee chairman Curt Purse told the city council Tuesday night that the department requested bids for a new rescue truck from five manufacturers. Only one manufacturer, Pierce, responded, he said.

The new truck will comply with the 2009 safety standards set by the National Fire Prevention Association, something that the 1986 truck does not do. It will have a 300-gallon water tank, two telescoping light towers, a 30-kilowatt generator, two winches and awnings where firefighters can get out of hot sun or rain. It will also have equipment to help prevent rollovers and a monitoring system to ensure that all riders are wearing seatbelts.

Purse said that the truck will respond to vehicle accidents; unlike the 1986 truck, it will carry firefighting equipment. It will also respond to hazardous spills, will be able to provide lighting for festivals and other events and will be able to generate electricity in case of emergency.

Total cost of the truck is $798,000. The department gets a $42,000 discount because it will pay for the truck in its entirety before it is delivered. That payment will be insured in case something happens to the manufacturer before the truck is delivered.

The department will also have to pay $75,000 for equipment for the truck. Purse said that the new truck is expected to be delivered in February or March. Once that happens, the department will look for ways to sell its 1986 truck. Estimated value is between $30,000 and $40,000, he said.

The city's aerial truck is 10 years old, fire Chief Mark O'Bier said. The department will be looking to replace it in about 15 years.

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