City of Aztec NM Invests in New Fire Apparatus

City of Aztec (NM) plans to retire an aging truck built in 1989 and add a $750,000 replacement.

The fire department, which operates an all-volunteer staff of 15 active fire fighters, has nine trucks in its fleet: one ladder, three pumper, two brush, and two rescue trucks. A retired 1955 model is sometimes rolled out for parades.

Of the 1,000 or more calls it receives each year, 80 percent are for medical emergencies. The last structure fire was in June, a potentially devastating event that highlights the need to update equipment.

Money to pay for the new fire truck will come from the state fire fund, which now has close to $1 million. The purchase will drop account reserves down to just under $250,000.

“We have put aside annual funding distributions from the state in our fire fund, anticipating the need to replace the truck,” said Kathy Lamb, the city’s finance director. “Those distributions each year have averaged nearly $200,000 each.”

The last time trucks were bought for the department by the city was in 2009 and 2004 when two of the department’s three pumpers were replaced.

Made by E-One, a manufacturer in Florida, the new 6-seat, telescoping ladder truck, with its myriad component parts — the description catalogue of options for it runs over 100 pages — will take 12 months to be assembled. Pete’s Equipment Repair of Albuquerque will supply the truck.

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