"All But One" of Erie Fire Department's Fleet of Trucks Need to - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

"All But One" of Erie Fire Department's Fleet of Trucks Need to Be Replaced

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Erie's fire chief says the department's dated fleet of vehicles need to be replaced.

Chief Guy Santone presented his department's 2018 budget to city council Wednesday.

He says overtime costs were down this year, but the issue facing the fire department is vehicles.

Santone says all but one of the department's fire apparatuses needs to be replaced, "Our equipment, we go to a lot of fires, a lot of calls, emergency medical calls, so there's a lot of wear and tear on them and what's happening is, they're wearing down, the mechanics are doing an excellent job keeping them up and running but we're getting to the point where we're going to have to start replacing them," said Chief Santone.

The city's newest fire truck is from the year 2013. All of the others are from 2003 and one from 2000. 

Chief Santone says according to NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards, front line fire equipment should be replaced every ten to twelve years, so they're long overdue for new trucks.

But rescue trucks costs $750,000, with tower trucks costing $1.2 Million each, so it's a major expense for the city.

Santone says there are lease programs available, and he will work with council and the new mayor to try to update the fire department's aging fleet, without breaking the budget, "Cities across the state don't have that upfront money, but there are programs you can get into," said Santone. "Like a lease program where you can cut that cost down to $150,000 to $200,000 a year, which sounds like a lot, but if you budget that every year then you can get on a program and buy new fire trucks every three to four years," said Santone.

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