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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Council to discuss engine purchase
For city fire department
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
The Martinsville Fire Department plans to give up two vehicles in order to get a new fire engine.
Martinsville City Council will consider buying the new truck when it meets at 7:30 tonight at the municipal building on West Church Street uptown.
The new engine would replace a 1979 model which the fire department already has sold. Fire Chief Ken Draper on Monday said he could not recall who it was sold to or how much the buyer paid.
Draper said the old engine did not meet National Fire Protection Association standards because it lacked certain safety equipment for firefighters.
Also, he said the truck had brake problems and mechanics at the city’s garage were having trouble finding replacement parts for it.
“It was just getting worn out,” he said. “It had lost its usefulness.”
Plans are to also sell a small truck that responds to emergency rescue calls, Draper said. It contains equipment such as ropes and extrication devices.
The new engine would have enough compartments to store equipment from the rescue truck, he said.
The city has been quoted a price of $472,583 for the new engine, but if the city fully prepays for it, the cost would drop to $456,436, a report shows.
Martinsville has two other fire engines and a ladder truck for firefighting. It needs a third engine to maintain its Insurance Services Office rating, Draper said. That rating plays a role in determining prices companies charge local residents for fire insurance.
The city has tried to replace a fire truck every five years to keep its fleet up to date. Draper said, however, that plan went “out the window” a few years ago due to budget constraints.
If the new engine is purchased, the fire department should be in good shape for a while, he said.
In addition to fire trucks and several cars used by fire department staff, the department also has three ambulances. Two are constantly used to respond to medical calls and the other is used as a backup, Draper said.