By Wayne Allen
Earlier this year the Minford Fire Department announced they have purchased a new $500,000 fire engine. Officials with the department said they will get the truck in July.
Jason Kester, a member of the Minford Volunteer Fire Department, said members of the department will pick up the truck in Wisconsin once complete. Kester said the truck will then travel to McConnelsville, Ohio, where it will be equipped. He said a couple of weeks later the department will receive the truck, which will be ready to use.
He said the department has spent years planning and saving money to afford this new engine that’s anticipated to help carry the department into the future.
Several years ago the department started long term strategic planning for replacing their trucks. Kester said the truck that’s being replaced by the new engine is a 1994. He said the department has been involved in every step of the process, towards making this truck a reality. Throughout the process members of the department have traveled to various conferences.
“We went through a nine month evaluation process. We chose the truck we thought would be best,” Kester said.
The department chose the Pierce Company to build the truck.
“We’ve spent three years getting ready to purchase it and spent about nine months working with Pierce on finer details,” Kester said.
He said this will likely be the last new truck the department purchases for a while.
“We’ve got some old trucks and through budgeting and proper planning on how we’re going to replace them,” Kester said.
Through planning and budgeting, Kester said they annually budget for capital projects and need improvements. He said the cab of the new truck costs around $250,000 — and that’s before you put anything on it. He said the cab is designed to be safer, last longer and hold up better in an accident.
“Minford has never had a custom cab truck in our 71-year history of the fire department, this is a big step for us,” Kester said. “The heavy rescue truck we purchased almost ten years ago was getting ready for the bypass. Some of the things that are on this truck are us getting ready for the bypass, a change in our mission and goals in the community.”
Kester said the department is buying a ladder that will allow them to climb the barrier on the bypass.
“There will be unexpected stuff we will never be able to plan for. We’ve gotten to the point where we’re trying to think that far ahead to be prepared and serve our community,” Kester said.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT