New fire truck in the works for Ironton Fire Department

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

With an average response time of 3.3-minutes, it’s rare to hear of one of Ironton Fire Department’s trucks being one-and-a-half years late.

Of course, there’s no emergency.

The Ironton Fire Department is finally looking to get a new fire truck to replace the current 1995 model.

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In accordance with the plan detailed when Ironton’s fire fee was established, the city was due for a new truck last year, but Ironton Fire Department Chief Tom Runyon said that plans were delayed because of some of the city’s problems.

“Originally, we had put it in the plans to rotate the fire engine every 10 years,” Runyon said. “But with some of the problems general-fund wise the city has been going through, we’ve just been accumulating money in the fire fee.”

Ideally, the city would use a newly purchased truck for 10 years, then purchase a replacement and move the first truck to a backup position. The truck that had formerly been the backup (the 20-year-old model) would then be taken out of rotation.

The problem, Runyon said, is not the 1995 model, though it has had problems with its alternator and water pump. The current backup is now 26 years old, which isn’t the best situation when the 1995 truck is out of commission for repairs.

The fire department has settled on the truck they want, and it’s at the low-end of the price spectrum at around $260,000, but it does have some improvements, such as a larger pump capacity, and some medical equipment for when the fire department is the first responder to an emergency.

With its choice made and pricing done, all that remains is to have the council approve the fire departments’ decision. Chief Runyon said that there is a little bit of a rush though.

“There are some specifications coming up this year on the diesel emission standards that’s going to cause those prices to increase within the next two or three months,” Runyon said. “The manufacturer’s association said that the prices could increase anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000.”

Runyon said that if the truck was in service before the changes were made, the truck would not have to be upgraded to compensate.