Fire department starting process to buy new fire truck

HUMBOLDT — A process to replace the Humboldt Fire Department’s oldest fire truck has begun.

At its June 22 meeting, council voted in favour of drawing up the final specifications for a new fire truck and then sending it out for tender. It will replace a 2001 Freightliner Pumper.

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“This truck is going to be 20 years old in 2021 and the build time for these trucks is about 12 to 14 months, so we're just looking at getting a head start on this,” said Mike Kwasnica, Humboldt’s fire chief.

Early estimates place the cost of a new truck at $400,000. The city will be responsible for 70 per cent, while the Humboldt District Fire Protection Association will pay for the rest.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends fire trucks be retired from a department after 20 years of use. After that point, it can be sold to other departments that possess even older equipment, which is the case for many smaller rural departments.

“We do have a number of departments that are locally interested in the purchase of this one,” Kwasnica said.

The fire department is anticipating it will get $50,000 for the old truck.

As for the rest of the cost, the fire department will be tapping into the city’s fleet replacement reserve. The fire department’s position of the reserve will have around $168,000 saved up by 2021. The rest of the $280,000 will use money that was put aside by the leisure services and public works departments, which are not planning any major purchases in 2021.

Rob Muench, Humboldt’s mayor, said the previous time the city bought a fire truck while he’s been on council, they’ve had to go to the bank, get a loan and pay the interest. This won’t be the case this time.

“I think that the fleet programs that we put in place is paying dividends here.”

After the new fire truck is bought, the fire department doesn’t expect to have to make any major purchases until 2034.

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