Buying three new fire trucks at the same time could save money and make repairs and training easier, a city official said.
Firefighters would only have to train on one truck, rather than on three different versions, and mechanics would only have to learn to fix one, Oak Ridge Fire Department Chief Darryl Kerley told City Council members last week. When ordering parts, mechanics could order multiple replacements and have backups available.
The City Council will consider whether to buy the new fire engines during a 7 p.m. meeting on Monday, Sept. 9. The three new fire engines would replace trucks that are 15 years old and each have about 150,000 miles on them. Those vehicles would be used as reserves.
The new trucks could be delivered in September 2014 and cost about $482,000 each. The city would pay cash for one and lease-purchase the other two.
Kerley said the city bought the old fire engines in 1998, and they cost about $286,000 each. He said costs increase on fire trucks after they exceed 100,000 miles. One mile in a fire engine is equivalent to about three in a delivery truck, the chief said.
The new trucks discussed during a Monday night work session last week have features designed to help firefighters battle smaller fires, such as in brush and cars, and make their jobs safer by, among other things, reducing their need to climb on top of fire trucks to accomplish certain tasks like winding up hoses.
Money for the new trucks was part of Kerley’s budget presentation to the Oak Ridge City Council earlier this year.
Here is a summary of the three old fire engines’ costs and mileage:
Here is a summary of repair and maintenance costs: