Sandy Springs fire chief Keith Sanders wants to update his department’s fleet of trucks.
In a presentation to the city council on Feb. 6, the chief explained that the department needs trucks that are smaller, lighter, newer and equipped with the latest technology. Updating the fleet could cost the city about $4 million, but Sanders said in the long run, the upgrade will save the city money.
The fire department wants to buy five vehicles from Wisconsin-based Pierce Manufacturing Inc. which would cost a quoted $4,462,805.82. The city would make payments on that over several years, with the first payment due when the trucks are delivered.
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However, as part of the proposed deal, Pierce would pay the city about $1.4 million for a trade-in of three vehicles, which would bring the bill for the city down to $3,062,806. That price includes delivery, training and factory visits.
The trucks take about 13 months to build, Sanders said. The proposed new fleet would include two trucks with ladders — or “aerials” — that extend to 107 feet, two trucks with pumpers, and a truck with a 110-foot ascendant platform.
Sanders said that upgrading the fleet to these newer and smaller vehicles would lower its insurance rating too. Vehicles in the fire department’s current fleet range from 1 to 5 years old.
The chief argued that upgrading the fleet would “improve the citywide fire response coverage” and make it so the department doesn’t have to rely on reinforcements from its neighbors in Cobb County, Atlanta and Roswell so often.
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Sanders also explained that the smaller and lighter trucks will help firefighters get in and out of the city’s many apartment complexes, which can sometimes be tight. He added that while the new trucks are smaller and lighter, attached ladders are just as tall as the ones on its current fleet.
The city is also awaiting the arrival of a truck it paid for last year. In total, with this deal, the city’s fleet of trucks would increase by one vehicle.
The city council motioned to continue discussing the upgrades. A vote on the deal could come as soon as its next meeting on Feb. 20.
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Credit: Channel 2 Action News