ST. GEORGE – With an aging fleet of fire engines and the fire-coverage needs of the city continuing to expand, the St. George City Council approved the leasing of three new fire engines Thursday. It adds to the new equipment and facilities the St. George Fire Department will be gaining in the near future.
The new fire engines, also referred to as pumper trucks, are being obtained through a four-year lease with an option to buy. In total, the cost of the lease is just over $2 million, with each pumper truck running $647,864. Interest on the lease is listed at 4.9 percent.
The three fire engines will take between 10-11 months to build, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said. Once delivered, two of the new trucks will be put on front-line duty at fire stations in the areas of SunRiver and Dixie Downs.
“These will really benefit our department as we’re trying to replace some of our aging fleet,” Stoker said.
The new pumper trucks will allow the Fire Department to retire trucks that have been in use since the 1970s, albeit they currently are on reserve.
The trucks will also be custom builds and not “taken off the rack,” City Manager Gary Esplin said.
An example of the fire engines being built to meet the city’s needs is that they will include additional storage space, Stoker said. The department tries to have as much equipment on one firetruck as possible when responding to an incident. That way they don’t end up pulling additional resources from elsewhere.
Equipment on firetrucks includes more than just that used to battling fires. Firefighters routinely respond to incidents involving medical emergencies, hazardous material spills and clean up and vehicle accidents that sometimes require special extrication equipment.
“We try to have all that equipment on one fire apparatus in all areas,” Stoker said.
In addition to the new pumper trucks, the Fire Department will receiving a new ladder truck near the end of the year. The council approved the purchase in December 2015 for around $1.1 million. It will replace the one currently used out of Fire Station 1 on 1000 East.
In August the City Council also approved the purchase of land in the Little Valley area for the site of a new fire station in order to accommodate that ever-growing part of the city.
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