Friday, April 27, 2018
By Samantha Phillips
A new firetruck soon will be ready for use on city streets.
The 2018 Sutphen Rescue Engine cost the city $26,289, and will replace two older vehicles.
Firefighters said the new engine has the capability to do the jobs of both older ones.
The Girard Fire Department received a $450,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Grant under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The grant covered 95 percent of the fire- truck’s purchase, totaling about $428,000. The city picked up the remaining costs and an extra $4,862 to add safety features that make the truck compliant with the National Fire Protection Association.
“It will definitely provide a better service to the residents,” said Luke Grunder, city firefighter and president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1220. “It has the capabilities to be a much more efficient vehicle, and consolidating the two vehicles into one saves on fuel costs, insurance costs, [and] saves [the city] from having to buy double the equipment.”
These safety features include a thermal-imaging camera, a battery-operated device to free people trapped in wrecks (jaws of life), saws, a ventilation fan, nozzles, couplings, airbags, new ladders, new rope rescue equipment and a medic bag.
“It boosts morale and provides a much safer vehicle to respond with,” Grunder said.
The two vehicles being replaced had issues such as a leaky water tank and a clutch that would grind because of its age, Grunder added.
U.S. Rep Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, and U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman attached letters of support to the grant application last year, said Brian Pearson, firefighter and union treasurer.
“The letters basically outlined that the city has lost significant Local Government Fund and estate-tax money and could not purchase the truck from the general fund,” Pearson said.
The fire department also received a FEMA grant for a new aerial truck in 2011 that replaced a truck built in 1972.
“If we didn’t get these through FEMA, we would have never been able to replace [the trucks] due to financial constraints,” Pearson said.
The firetruck came in this month and will be in use within a week after all the safety equipment is mounted.