STRASBURG (WJER) (Nov. 22, 2022) – Council has approved Fire Chief Steven Laskey’s request to retire Engine 1203 and put the money toward a new multi-purpose vehicle.
A company that sells used emergency response vehicles has agreed to pay $35,000 for the more than 20-year-old engine. Council authorized the sale last week and gave Laskey permission to order a custom-built pumper-tanker truck.
“It’ll be a rear-wheel drive, single-axle, short-wheel base, not much bigger than the current engine we’re operating out of now. Currently, everything we’ve bought has either been used or a demo. Nothing’s been customized to the department, its needs.”
The truck Laskey is ordering holds 2,000 gallons of water and costs around $805,000, although there’s a slight discount if it’s financed within 30 days. He says having an adequate water supply is critical when they respond to structure fires in areas without hydrants, and their current tanker only holds enough to last five or six minutes.
“[With] a thousand gallons, if we can’t establish a water supply heaven forbid something happens, now we’ve got to pull our hose line out, pull our people out and wait. This allows us to do our job longer, safer, more effectively.”
A large business has agreed to contribute $100,000 toward the purchase, and Laskey is still waiting to hear back from several other potential donors. He intends to sell the tanker and Engine 1201 when the new truck is delivered in the spring or summer of 2024.