Texas FD to get nearly $1M in new vehicles, including ambulance, brush truck
A new ambulance and pumper truck will replace older apparatus the department is looking to retire, and a new brush truck will assist crews in responding during grassfire seasons
SHERMAN, Texas — A new wave of emergency vehicles may soon hit the roads of Sherman. The city council approved the purchase of three new vehicles for the fire department last week with a combined price of over $987,000.
The new vehicles are among the first major purchases for the city as it enters into the 2020-2021 fiscal year and a new budget cycle. Traditionally, the first few city council meetings in October and November will see waves of purchase requests relating to the new budget.
"It is all the budgeted items that passed through the budgeting process without being cut, which is to say the minority of them," Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said.
The council approved allocating $274,000 toward the purchase of a new 2020 Frazer Type 1 Ambulance for the first department. This will allow the city to remove another of its ambulances from service and repurpose it for department use.
Sherman Fire-Rescue Chief Danny Jones said the existing ambulance, a 2014 model with about 74,000 miles on it, will be used to replace a vehicle that was used for equipment and trailer transport.
Jones said the department had previously used a retire ambulance chassis for the vehicle and attached a flatbed to it. However, upon use, Jones said the department noticed that the chassis was not heavy-duty enough for this use.
Jones said the department plans to remove the existing flatbed from the vehicle and attach it to the 2014 chassis in house to meet the transportation need.
In other matters, the council also approved a $103,000 request for a new Ford brush truck and related equipment. Unlike the ambulance, this new truck will not be replacing another vehicle and will instead add to the city capacity for fire response.
"This will allow us in peak grassfire seasons to respond to multiple events," Jones said.
In addition to increasing service capacity, Jones said the new truck will also create redundancy in the department and allow it to continue service even when one of the trucks is offline for maintenance.
The largest expense that the council approved in this latest wave of purchases is a new 2021 Spartan pumper truck for the department. This truck will replace a 2006 model that has about 128,000 miles on it.
Despite the relatively low miles on the vehicle, Jones said the truck was at the end of its useful life. Jones said that road miles aren't always the best indicator when one is looking to replace an emergency vehicle, as it doesn't show the full scope of wear. In many cases, a vehicle may be stopped at a fire, but still be in service and use.
"It isn't going up and down the road with the odometer, but it is still a working vehicle," Jones said, noting that a truck may be stationary but pumping for hours at a fire.
However, as a general guideline, most vehicles have a five-year frontline lifespan with an additional 10 years in reserve.
(c)2020 the Herald Democrat (Sherman, Texas)