Ashland Fire Department to receive new fire apparatus

January 30, 2024

City approves $1.1 million purchase for new fire truck

During a recent commission meeting, the Ashland Fire Department was granted approval for a significant addition to their fleet.

The mayor and commissioners consented to a $1.1 million purchase for a new fire truck.

This agreement, involving the city and Sutphen Corporation, focuses on acquiring a heavy monarch package fire truck.

Commissioner Cheryl Spriggs initiated the discussion by inviting Fire Chief Steve Alley to provide context for the decision.

“Tell us why we’re doing this so people know why we’re doing this,” Spriggs requested.

Alley explained that the current truck in use has been suffering from persistent motor issues, leading to a critical state where it now has a blown motor.

The decision-making process and budget considerations

Alley detailed the discussions with the finance department, weighing the options between constant repairs or the acquisition of a new engine.

He noted the unpredictability of the timeline for the new engine’s integration into the fleet, citing a backlog originating from the COVID pandemic.

Spriggs reassured the commission, stating, “We have time to budget this in.”

The Ashland Fire Department (AFD) has planned to use a reserve engine as a temporary solution.

“AFD is push a reserve engine into the front line,” Alley said.

This approach will bridge the gap until the new fire truck is operational.

Impact of AFD’s grant-writing efforts

Commissioner Josh Blanton highlighted the financial savvy of the AFD, referencing their successful grant-writing efforts.

“AFD’s grant-writing has saved the city about $1.2 million, which essentially covers this cost,” said Blanton.

This strategic financial management has effectively offset the expense of the new fire apparatus.

FSJA Comment

The acquisition of a new fire apparatus by the Ashland Fire Department marks a crucial step in enhancing the city’s firefighting capabilities.

The decision, driven by the need to replace an unreliable engine, reflects a proactive approach to public safety and resource management.

The AFD’s ability to secure funds through grant-writing exemplifies commendable fiscal responsibility, ultimately benefiting the community by ensuring the availability of modern and efficient firefighting equipment.

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