BLUFFTON — The Bluffton Fire Department will expect a new and improved firetruck within the year, Fire Chief Jon Kinn said during the Village Council meeting Monday.
The decision-making process for the new firetruck began in 2013 and has been an ongoing process, Kinn said.
Updating the council as the decisions were being made, Kinn said the process began by researching various options, manufacturers and trade shows of trucks that could potentially fit the department’s needs to the best ability. The next step for Kinn and his department was to narrow down the options to ultimately decipher a “want” from a “need” to keep the cost to a minimum. Finally, the decision was to determine the best manufacturer for the vehicle and their design, making it a custom-fit for the department.
This purchase marks the first for the department, ultimately choosing Rosenbauer as a manufacturer. United Fire Apparatus Corp., the dealer of the truck, has been a longtime business partner for the department, Kinn said.
The department needed a truck that would address its need “for the amount of water, or pump-capacity to stay in our ISO-rating for insurance purposes,” Kinn said. “And then addressing the needs we have such as safety of the firefighters, as well as the use of the truck, future possible uses and just improving on what we have.”
The more the department uses the truck, the higher potential the truck could face mechanical issues, however Kinn said the truck must be used relatively frequently or else leaving the vehicle stagnant could pose other threats.
Upon delivery of the vehicle, United Fire will give one lesson to the firefighters in the department. After the initial lesson, Kinn will take over, modifying the lessons to Bluffton’s specific needs.
This decision for a truck was something the council had been expecting for some time, Kinn said. While Kinn expressed excitement for the approval of the fire truck, “I’m glad to be finally be done” with the process, he said.
The $310,206 Rosenbauer Smart Cab is expected to last the department 20 years if maintained properly.
The department also traded the old for the new and purchased $23,070 of hosing, which will be paid for by grant funding. The department’s 25 firefighters will receive a new coat, pants and helmet, totaling $2,025 per firefighter, which will also be covered by grant funding. The department will purchase 30 outfits over the span of three years, totaling $20,250.
All items, including the firetruck, were built into a 10-year budgetary forecast for the fire and rescue capital improvement account.