Archive for Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2 new fire trucks placed on order

The city of Lawrence will be adding two new fire trucks to its fleet. The trucks will take about a year to build and deliver.

April 21, 2010


City commissioners Tuesday evening unanimously approved more than $1.7 million worth of fire truck purchases.

Commissioners agreed to purchase a new Pierce fire engine for $669,535 and 100 foot ladder truck for $1,183,923. About $1 million of the funding will come from the city’s new infrastructure sales tax. About $750,000 will come from general obligation debt of the city, about $80,000 from equipment reserve funds, and $50,000 from Kansas University’s Housing Department, which relies on the ladder truck to provide fire protection to KU dorms.

The new engine will replace a 1988 fire engine, and the new ladder truck will replace a 1986 model. The new equipment likely will take about a year to be manufactured and delivered to the city.


consumer1 8 years ago

Do we have any current fire trucks that have ladders that will reach up to the top floors of the dorms on Daisey hill? What happen's if there is a fire and people are trapped on the top floors? Do you send in firefighters to a sure death? or do you let them fry and then petition the city for larger vehicles with larger ladder's?

Jonathan Kealing 8 years ago

The city has a two ladder trucks that have 100' ladders. One is in use (at Station No. 5) and another in reserve. I think this will become the active truck, the current active truck becomes the reserve and the reserve goes out to pasture or is resold to some other place.

inklines 8 years ago

How many Lawrence citizens are driving vehicles that are over 22 years old? How many of them have been taken care of as well as the city takes care of its fire trucks? How old and dangerous does the equipment have to get before we replace it? What is the engineered lifespan of a fire truck serving a community this size vs a large plane? What if the truck breaks down on the way to your home fire? Would you ride in/ drive a fire truck that was well past its retirement date?

ssakcaj 8 years ago

There is no retirement date. Does the truck work? If the truck works then it is serviceable. We are flying B-52's that are over 50 years old. As long as you take care of them and perform preventative and as needed maintenance they work fine. What new developements have occurred in fires since 1986? Answer: none.

The idea that you need to replace them is one of the big lies in the fire industry.

Evan Ridenour 8 years ago

That just isn't true. As the platform ages it requires more and more maintenance to keep it operative. The problem with doing this with a fire truck is that they need to work... all the time. You don't want to pull up to a fire only to find out that some part has just failed. Another concern is cost of repair which is the irony of your whole opinion. It actually has probably become more expensive to keep those trucks maintained then to replace them. Nevermind that at a certain point the frame would need a complete overhaul which over the long term most likely would be just as expensive if not more expensive then replacing the whole thing. The same thing happens with airplanes, the more they age the more maintenance that is required to keep them reliable enough to be operable. At some point the cost of maintaining them and the cost of the unreliability of the frame outweighs the cost of acquiring new equipment. The reason we have so many really old planes has more to do with the astronomical cost of a new frame compared to a fire truck and the shoddy financial condition of our airlines then the actual feasability of operating several decade old aircraft. I am sure it would be much less expensive in the long run to replace a lot of those old frames but the problem is that the airlines have no money for massive capital investment even if the return on the investment is high.

As to the B-52 argument. The B-52s have been massively overhauled several times to the tune of many billions of dollars. The B-52s in the air today probably don't have a single original part from the original manufacture. It also would cost a tad bit more money to develop a new strategic bomber platform (say easily over a trillion dollars) then it takes to acquire a new firetruck. That is just a silly comparison.

The trucks they are replacing are so old that random failure was a distinct possibility. I know I would much rather have a brand new fire truck to depend on to save my life and those I love then a fire truck that is almost 25 years old. They were also so old that maintenance costs were astronomical.

But whatever, claim some irrational fire industry "conspiracy" I am just happy to have some reliable fire trucks.

inklines 8 years ago

Sooo, if the Lawrence fire department pulled up to your burning house in a 1960 La France pumper truck ( the same vintage as a B-52H), you wouldn't have any worries? I mean, it would cost almost as much to maintain as an old B-52 because the parts would have to be custom produced as they are no longer stocked. While I agree that a lot of man made machines could theoretically be maintained forever, (provided you could replace metal-fatigued frame members), you would have to balance the cost of maintaining that older and possibly outmoded equipment with the cost of buying newer equipment. Equipment lifespan also has to factor in the length of time the manufacturer expects to produce and stock replacement parts. If you are spending $200,000 a year to maintain old equipment when you could buy a newer model for $700,000 that will last you 20 years...well, you do the math.

BigPrune 8 years ago

KU should be footing more than a measly 4.22% of the cost of the new truck with a ladder able to reach the top of THEIR dorm. How about a "progressive" run a cost/benefit analysis on this expenditure?

Evan Ridenour 8 years ago

I know the Endowment leases them the land for the station for a nominal fee (usually $1). I think KU may have also contributed to the construction costs of the building. One could personally hold the belief that KU should contribute more but considering that ladder truck is needed for many more buildings then just KU buildings and none of those other property owners are paying a larger burden of the cost it seems fair to me.

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