County purchasing two fire trucks

Published 9:51 am Saturday, December 23, 2023

The county has approved the purchase of a pair of fire trucks to help replace older trucks in the Troup County Fire Department’s aging fleet.

In October, Fire Chief Michael Strickland requested that the Board of Commissioners approve the purchase of a new pumper fire truck, noting that the department has some very old fire trucks that are well past their replacement age and other newer trucks that have ongoing maintenance.

At the time, Strickland requested to purchase a pre-built pumper fire truck from US Fire Apparatus in Holden, Louisiana.

Strickland explained that one of the issues with purchasing fire trucks is the extreme lead time. Fire trucks, including ones that the county has purchased in the past, are traditionally made to spec but that can cause trucks to have longer lead times, especially with supply chain issues. The chief noted that the spec-made trucks can currently take up to four years to build and deliver.

Unlike most fire truck manufacturers, US Fire Apparatus builds inventories of trucks to sell rather than to spec so the trucks can be delivered almost immediately.

The commissioners continued the fire truck discussion on Tuesday when Strickland asked for approval to purchase either one or two pre-built fire trucks from the company.

“We went down there, toured the plant, saw the trucks, drove them got our hands on them, and we feel this truck will very adequately meet the needs of the Troup County Fire Department for several years,” Strickland said, “It’s a brand new custom pump built to their specs.”

Strickland said the truck meets 98 percent of the specifications that they would have requested if it had been built to spec.

The truck has a 1,000-gallon water tank with a 1,500-gallon-per-minute pump, which Strickland noted is standard in the industry. The truck will also have a foam fire suppression system built in, which he noted they have been trying to move toward on their newer trucks.

Strickland recommended that the commissioners purchase at least one of the trucks at a cost of $747,870 but asked for a second as well, saying the company is willing to give them a $5,000 discount on each truck if they buy two. He said the cost for the trucks is expected to increase by 13 to 20 percent next year, as well.

Ultimately, the commissioners approved the purchase of two trucks at a cost of $1,485,740. The money for the trucks will come from SPLOST funds set aside for the fire department.