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Fire truck purchase being considered by City of Powell River council

Powell River Fire Rescue requires new pumper apparatus
VEHICLE UPGRADE: Powell River Fire Rescue requires a new rescue pumper truck to replace apparatus that is reaching the 25-year maximum. City council will consider the purchase.

City of Powell River council will consider a bid for a new rescue pumper truck for Powell River Fire Rescue to replace an aging unit.

At the February 15 committee of the whole meeting, fire chief Terry Peters outlined the prospective purchase to replace the 1998 Spartan Darley rescue pumper truck that is nearing its 25-year maximum lifespan.

Peters said the fire department is having problems getting parts for the old vehicle. He said it’s crucial that the city keeps good apparatus in its fleet. Peters said the replacement cycle for apparatus such as the rescue pumper truck is 20 to 25 years.

“You’ve actually approved this in your five-year financial plan,” said Peters. “The money for this has already been put into place.”

Peters said he contacted suppliers, and also, other cities. He said the fire department reached out to two companies that had previously built apparatus for Powell River Fire Rescue. One was unable to bid, but another could: Commercial Emergency Equipment Co.

Peters said he talked to the fire chief in Surrey and their fire trucks are coming in around the $1 million mark, and ladder trucks are $1.5 to $1.8 million.

Peters said he met with city staff to look at how to get prices down because he is concerned the fire department is not going to be within its budget.

“What happened is we were offered a stock unit,” said Peters.

To build a truck to Powell River Fire Rescue’s specifications, the cost would be $895,000, but the fire department was offered a stock unit, which would cost $789,000, according to Peters. He said the stock unit being offered caught the fire department’s eye because it has a larger tank in it.

“I’ve been doing this for a bit and that blew me away,” said Peters. “When I’m seeing basic trucks going for $800,000 to $900,000, the fact that we can actually get an apparatus that’s already scheduled to be built is good. This is the best deal I could find. It was quite impressive to me. I believe this is a pretty good deal.”

Mayor Dave Formosa said he wanted to know how the department would do with a trade-in. He asked if the department would do as well as it did last time.

“The minute [fire trucks] hit 25 years it’s just good luck,” said Peters. “We’d be lucky to get $10,000 for it.”

The committee gave consent to take the procurement to city council for consideration.

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