City invests $2 million in 3 custom-built fire engines

Firefighters responded to an early-morning structure fire on Monterey Drive in St. George. While no one was harmed in the blaze, the house was a total loss, St. George, Utah, July 9, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

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.

Emergency personnel in front of residence where second story deck caught fire possibly from a barbecue, 100 block of 2000 East, St. George, Utah, July 27, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Emergency personnel in front of a residence where a second story deck caught fire, possibly from a barbecue, 100 block of 2000 East, St. George, Utah, July 27, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

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.

Firefighters responded to a short-lived trash fire that ignited inside a garbage truck while on Tabernacle Street, St. George, Utah, June 14, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Firefighters responded to a short-lived trash fire that ignited inside a garbage truck while on Tabernacle Street, St. George, Utah, June 14, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

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.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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7 Comments

  • old school October 7, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Two million for three trucks??? You got to be kidding me!!! I thought this was “just little old St George”, at least that’s what I hear whenever I complain about the services, who’s the gadget hungry mogul that approved THIS expenditure? Would be a good name to remember come election day!!!

  • St. G October 8, 2016 at 5:10 am

    Once again taxpayers get soaked.

  • CaliGirl October 8, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Lease? 4.9% intrest? Who the hell is the city’s buyer? This has crazy written all over it!

  • Not_So_Much October 8, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Well if 3 million can be spent at the all abilities park then ……………………..

  • .... October 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Well they felt they need the new trucks so they went and got them. what’s done is done. but Im just interested in what any of your opinions would be if one of the new trucks were used to put a a fire out in one of your houses and saving your lives would be.

  • ladybugavenger October 9, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    They can always sell tickets at $20 each so kids can sit in it. With all the kids, that’s at least $120 per family. You add the plygs kids and you’re at $6,000 in tickets per family. (don’t worry there’s plenty of food stamp fraud to cover the expense)

    • .... October 10, 2016 at 4:06 am

      They always complain until it’s their house that’s on fire

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