Springfield city commissioners approve ordinances to replace aging fire equipment

Springfield city commissioners have allowed its fire division to enter into a purchase agreement that will allow them to replace a 20-year-old serial ladder truck.

City commissioners also allowed for the division to apply for federal grant funding to replace a 26-year-old fire engine that is being used for front line service.

Emergency ordinances related to purchasing and replacing of old equipment used by the fire division were presented to and approved by commissioners during a virtual public meeting on Tuesday.

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One ordinance authorized the city to enter into a lease/purchase agreement with Truist Bank in the principal amount of $1,081,329 to finance the purchase of a Sutphen SL100 aerial ladder truck.

Another ordinance allowed for the actual purchasing of that ladder truck with the hope that it would enter the fire division’s fleet by either the end of this year or by early 2022.

Springfield Fire Chief Brian Miller told commissioners on Tuesday the idea is to replace a ladder truck that was built in 2001 and purchased used by the city.

In terms of the ladder truck that will be replaced, Miller said maintenance has become difficult on that vehicle due to its age and the availability of parts.

He said that the new ladder tuck will be able to fulfill the needs of his division for the next 20 to 25 years.

Springfield commissioners also approved an ordinance that will allow the city to apply for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in an amount of up to $500,000.

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That will be for the purchase of a fire engine, unrelated to the ladder truck. The ordinance also authorizes a local matching expenditure in an amount not to exceed $50,000 in relation to purchasing the fire engine.

However, that depends on whether the city receives the federal grant. Miller said his division is looking at opportunities to replace aging vehicles.

He said they currently have a fire engine, made in 1995, that is used for frontline service for the division’s Fire Station #3 on Selma Road.

Miller said that they also have maintenance issues in regards to that engine. The goal, if grant funding is approved, is to add a new engine to the fleet by the middle of 2023.

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