Astoria (OR) Fire Chief Seeks New Fire Apparatus

The city of Astoria needs a new fire truck, Fire Chief Ted Ames told the city council Monday night.

The equipment at the station has been “incredibly well-maintained,” Ames said. But it is older and needs replaced.

The city owns three fire engines and one ladder truck. Half of those are older than 25 years old and failing.

The cost of a new fire engine ranges from $480,000 to $520,000. A used truck can be purchased for $150,000, but could put the city back in the same position in less than two years, Ames said. He stated that a new fire engine can be close to trouble-free for 20 years.

Prior to the meeting, each council member toured the fire station with Ames.

The ladder truck is a 1988 model. Years ago, Ames said, the truck was used regularly. But last year, a decision was made that the department cannot afford to have the truck in use all the time.

“We need to save it for those very special occasions,” Ames said, such as rescuing people or large fires, such as the Pacific Coast Seafood fire in Warrenton last year or the No. 10 Sixth Street fire in Astoria in December 2010. The ladder is 75 feet tall. A lot of repairs have been done, particularly in the last year, he said. But with age, it’s not in the best shape.

A second pumper, a 1999 model, as a “Mr. Do It All,” Ames said, leaving the department three to four times a day for everything from medical calls to car accidents. The hills in Astoria, however, are wearing on the truck.

The last engine is a 2009. It was purchased with a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant. But it’s smaller and it has some limitations.

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