Lake Elsinore CA to Buy High-Tech Fire Apparatus

Lake Elsinore (CA) fire protection and rescue services is planning to buy an advanced-technology truck, in addition to the opening of a fire station.

City Council members recently approved the purchase of a quint light fire truck that will serve Station No. 97.

The truck carries its own water, a built-in pump, water hose, standard-sized ladders and an aerial ladder.

Because it has its own water and pump, it can be used to attack a fire as well as for functions such as structure ventilation, forcible entry rescues, extrications of crash victims, rescues from high places, trench and confined space rescues and and water rescues.

“So we’re getting the capabilities of a fire engine combined with the capabilities of a truck company,” Lake Elsinore Fire Chief Mark Barr said.

The truck itself will cost $809,417 including tax, which is $23,903 less than the list price.

The vehicle’s manufacturer, Smeal Fire Apparatus Co. in Nebraska, is providing a discount because the council authorized a 90 percent down payment. An extra $200,000 cost will be incurred with the addition of specialized equipment for rescues, medical responses and life-support equipment, Barr said.

“We’re looking at about a million dollars,” he said of the total cost.

Because the Rosetta Canyon station will serve both the city and adjacent unincorporated communities such as Meadowbrook, the city and Riverside County are sharing the costs. The county will kick in $300,000 for the truck purchase, while $250,000 will come from the city’s coffer of developer fees, and $259,417 will come from the city’s reserve to be financed by future developer fees. Funding for the additional equipment will be covered by developer fees and revenue shared with the city by the region’s ambulance service.

Barr said the truck will take from 300 to 360 days to build, plus another 60 days to outfit.

“Originally, we were going to take money out of our library fund,” Councilman Brian Tisdale said.

Rosetta Canyon’s station was built in 2009, but the council postponed financing its opening because of budget constraints stemming from the economic recession. The council members set a goal of opening the station this year, assuming the county would cooperate. The county fire department agreed to provide an engine staffed by three firefighters for the station’s opening while awaiting delivery of the truck.

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