Baltimore Orders First Fire Apparatus in Six Years

The Baltimore City Fire Department (MD) has placed its first order for new fire trucks in six years. Replacing the old equipment has been a top priority of Fire Chief James S. Clack, who was appointed in 2008.

Two “aerial tillers,” or trucks with 100-foot-long ladders, were ordered last month through a cooperative purchasing contract with fire departments in Maryland and Texas, a practice that lowers the unit cost of the equipment through large orders.

Loaded with state-of-the-art safety and ergonomic features, the new trucks will cost $1,810,458, or a little under $1 million per truck.

Michael B. Campbell, president of Baltimore Fire Officers Local 964, is pleased with the orders and said they are needed to replace aging apparatus.

One rule of the thumb is that the fleet should average no more than 10 years. Under that standard, Baltimore’s fleet is old but not ancient.

The possibility of more apparatus orders seems likely after Clack tweeted that he had received word that the department “will be able to make a significant purchase of 8 new engines and 4 new trucks this fiscal year.”

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