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Council approves new fire truck


Council approves new fire truck

Aerial expected to arrive in early 2016

A nearly-new aerial fire truck is a strong fit for Charles City, the city council agreed Monday night, after approving a purchase agreement with the truck supplier Sutphen. “It looked like it would be a good fit for us,” City Administrator Steve Diers told council members. “Rather than spending the projected $1.2 or 1.4 million on a truck, we can get essentially the same thing for about $730,000.”

Assistant Fire Chief Marty Parcher visited the Columbus, Ohio headquarters to inspect the truck, taking pictures to give council members an idea of the truck’s condition. The truck’s outriggers, the turntable and the ladder are the only used pieces refurbished for the truck –– the rest of the truck is new pieces, Parcher said. The truck includes new ladders and code updates that Charles City Fire Department’s current aerial truck does not meet, including a closed cab with climate control for firefighters –– especially necessary during the summer, when firefighters are in full gear.

“Air conditioning in fire trucks is a standard thing now,” Parcher said.

The truck also has back-up camera monitoring, more storage and gives the cab’s captain seat control over the lights and truck horns, cutting down on jobs for the truck driver. The truck can also carry more firefighters to a scene, with five people completely outfitted and one driver.

After discussion, council members passed the motion with an addendum that if a foam apparatus cost no more than $10,000, it could be purchased with the truck.

There are no foam tanks or injection on the truck, although one is currently on the department’s Engine 1 truck. The department could hook the trucks together so the aerial could shoot foam in an alternative solution to purchasing tanks for the new truck, Parcher said, although that would not work in mutual aid scenarios with surrounding fire departments.

“We use (foam) on virtually all fires,” Parcher said. “If we went somewhere else, we wouldn’t have that available (on this truck).”

Charles City hasn’t established a trade-in value for their current aerial, Diers said. City bonds will finance the truck, but no referendum is needed because the truck is a ‘central corporate purpose’ item.

“Timing-wise, it’s coming into our debt schedule at a good time. We can fit it in without too much adjustment,” Diers said.

The Sutphen truck has a 20year warranty. Once the truck is completely assembled, Parcher said, the fire department can do a final inspection and possible test drive before the truck is delivered to Charles City, which is expected to be at the end of January 2016.

“Seeing how they go through this, inspect them and everything, you have a brand new truck. There’s nothing on it that wouldn’t be virtually new,” Parcher said.


Budget season for the city is approaching, Diers said. The city will begin a goal-setting workshop on Wednesday. The first budget workshop begins Jan. 6, with six meetings in total planned.

Council member DeLaine Freeseman asked that the council be updated on the McQuillen Place project on Main Street.

“That seems to be moving quite slow,” Freeseman said.

“It does,” Diers said. “We’d like to see it move faster.”

The third floor is supposed to be completed in the next few weeks, Diers added.

“The council took some action to get involved in this thing, and I think we’ve got a pretty good stake, I think we need to stay on top,” Freeseman said.

By Kate Hayden [email protected]

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