The Centralia Fire Department held a push in ceremony Thursday evening for its new pumper truck.
The pumper truck was a demo model that was used briefly at the Daytona Speedway.
Fire Chief John Lynch says by not custom ordering they were able to purchase the truck for 439,000, a $292,000 savings over having a custom built truck. He says the new pumper is “just the way we need it” with a few minor additions that could be added next year.
“This is step 2 of hopefully of our 3 step process of replacing trucks. Just like the ladder truck, this was a much needed apparatus for us. We are down to 2 pumpers and one of those is 27 years old. Hopefully at the beginning of the year, if all goes right we can get the 3rd truck ordered and get ourselves back in really good shape. We appreciate the council seeing the need and the city manager helping me to accomplish the goal of replacing trucks and equipment.”
Lynch says this truck will be a first response unit for fire and rescue calls. Mayor Herb Williams is pleased to see the addition.
“Insurances that go down because we have the right equipment to protect our citizens, homes, businesses and so forth. So for the council and myself we are happy to move forward.”
City Manager Lowell Crow noted city residents will be asked during the November elections to approve an additional sales tax to make public safety improvements.
“Point five percent tax increase you are going to be voting on is for public safety and to upgrade the equipment and make sure those departments are properly financed. That is what that sales tax increase is designed for. It will help pay for these trucks plus the next one we want to buy so it’s a great opportunity for us.”
Crow thanked the Community Trust Bank for making the purchase of the new areal and pumper truck possible through a lease purchase agreement. Members of the fire department were joined by community leaders in “pushing” the new truck into the downtown station. Unlike old times when the tradition began, this truck was too heavy to push without the fire truck’s engine to help power it into the station.
(Photo’s by Pat Hodges)