Chief Kirk Young of the Sparta Fire Department, one of his lieutenants and two firefighters traveled nine hours to pick up the Salem Fire Department’s former 1990 Sutphen ladder truck.
They purchased the truck through govdeals.com for a bid of $19,000. Items are placed on the site for periods of two weeks. After the first two weeks, there were thousands of hits on the truck, but only one bid of $12,000 which was under the reserve amount and didn’t have to be accepted. The truck was reposted for another two weeks.
The original bid had been placed by the fire department from Sparta, which was interested enough in the truck to drive to Salem to see it in person. Again, the truck garnered thousands of hits but only bid, this time for $19,000 from the department in Sparta.
The department has three other trucks in the fleet, a 2013 Sutphen pumper and two Pierce pumpers, one from 2001 and one from 2002.
Young said they had been looking for something used that’s been in good service and came to Salem three weeks ago to look at the truck.
They liked what they saw, except for the orange color, which he said will be repainted white over red.
Sparta is a city with a population around 5,000 with a combination paid/volunteer fire department. Five paid firefighters work shifts of 24 hours on/72 hours off and they have 22 volunteers.
Salem City Council gave permission for the old ladder truck to be sold after the city purchased a demo 102-foot platform truck which is now in service.
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