Cambridge (OH) Fire Department Replaces 30-Year-Old Fire Truck

After narrowing down to their top three choices, the department decided to go with Sutphen.
(Cambridge Fire Rescue photo, Facebook)

Department chooses Sutphen as the builder

Kristi R. Garabrandt, The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio

(MCT)

Feb. 9—Cambridge Fire Department is replacing it’s 30-year-old pumper truck with a new one without taking out a loan for the purchase. The new truck build is expected to take 15 to 19 months to complete and should join the department’s fleet in 2022.

According to Fire Chief Jeff Deeks, the city signed the contract to purchase the new engine about four weeks.

It’s been a very time-consuming project, said Deeks. It took the department seven months to narrow down the company they wanted to use.

“It’s such a long process because it has such a big price tag on it,” Deeks said. “For an engine, we are looking at $500,000 just for bare bones minimum with nothing fancy.”

After narrowing down to their top three choices, the department decided to go with Sutphen, an Ohio-based company who also built the department’s ladder truck.

Deeks likes the fact that they are located just north of Columbus, which makes it possible for him to periodically check on the progress.

According to Deeks, the department got a pretty good deal. They will receive $10,000 toward the purchase price of the new by trading in the old pumper which had a recommended use of 20 years by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

“We know we are not a big city and we have to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money,” Deeks said, adding he hopes to get 30 years out of the new pumper truck as well.

The department knew the purchase of a new pumper trucker was going to be needed, but Deeks planned to put it until next year due. However, he said, the financing fell into place.

“The city council and the city administration did a wonderful thing and we were able to purchase the new engine this year,” Deeks said.

The total purchase price was of the new engine is $505,000. The trade in of the older truck and a $12,000 discount for paying the purchase in price in full dropped the cost down to around $477,000.

“We didn’t want to miss this opportunity to get a good debt knocked off the cost of the truck so we are down to around 477,000,” Deeks said. “We are pretty happy about that.”

When Deeks first made chief, he started a plan to replace equipment and such for the station.

Every year, he would put back what funds he could at the end of the year. The department had approximately $130,000 saved for the new truck and utilized other funding sources such as CARES Act money and reimbursements from BWC. They also negotiated a contract with Cambridge Township which contributed $70,000 towards the purchase of the new engine.

“So we were able to order this truck without having to take out a loan for it,” Deeks said.

Deeks noted he is happy about not saddling the department with that yearly payment and interest.

Construction of the truck has not yet started, as Deeks and department members must sit down with Sutphen representatives and go over the spec sheet line by line and sign off on everything to clarify what compartments they want and where they want them on the truck.

Deeks anticipates that meeting to take place within the next 30 days.

“It’s just one of those things that takes time. We are excited about it,” Deeks said, “It will be a nice truck when it gets here for the citizens. I’m real excited about it.”

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