According to a report from KRTV, on Tuesday night, the Great Falls, Montana, City Commission gave Great Falls Fire Rescue (GFFR) the “green light” to apply for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant worth $1.17 million. If approved, the money will be put toward a new 107-foot aerial apparatus, e.g., ladder truck, to replace the GFFR’s current 1996 75-foot Smeal Quint.
The estimated cost for the aerial is $1.25 million, plus an additional $50,000, which GFFR says will go toward additional equipment.
GFFR Chief Jeremy Jones said that the National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing aerial apparatuses after 25 years on the road, and their current truck is as 26.
The city of Great Falls will pay for the $130,000 discrepancy between the grant amount and the projected total cost. City documents revealed that the use of the vehicle that GFFR wants to replace has been deterred by cost and service issues.
Jones said the new truck would be a single rear-axle truck, allowing the maneuverability the GFFR’s current platform does not have.
He expects to find out in September or October if the grant will be awarded.