Due to an aging fleet of fire engines, Gloucester (MA) officials are asking the city council to back a loan for up to $1 million to buy two fire trucks.
The fire department is seeking to buy a new pump engine and a used backup ladder truck, which will the gap left by decommissioned Ladder 2, and a 1989 Pierce pumper. Ladder 2 went out of service after an inspection showed severe rust problems on the frame. Currently, the department is down a pumper and has no backup for Ladder 1.
The department’s firefighter mechanics tackle problems with Ladder 1 when they can. But, mechanics can only do piecemeal repairs on the engine because there isn’t a backup.
They are looking for a used ladder that will last 8-10 years, with an expected cost of $350,000. The new pumper is estimated to cost around $650,000.
Engine 3, the new Engine 1 already in use, and the new engine the department is seeking would make up the department’s main pumping trucks, with weathered Engine 4 and Engine 6 as reserves.
Firefighters are welcoming the plan to purchase new apparatus, but they have reservations.
“It’s good to see the city buying new equipment, but if history repeats itself, we (the department) won’t have the funds to repair them,” said Phil Bouchie, who heads the firefighters’ union.
For more information, view www.gloucestertimes.com