Fire Department Gets Go Ahead to Replace Two Engines
Council agreed to appropriate just under $1 million for the purchase of two fire engines in this year's budget
The Fair Lawn Volunteer Fire Department has received council's blessing to replace two fire engines this year for what used to be the price of one.
Originally slated for just a single engine replacement in this year's budget, Chief Eric Reamy successfully pitched council at the April 3 budget meeting that it was in both the fire department and the town's best interest to replace two engines this year.
"Our intention is to save you money, still get the apparatus we need and try and look good in your eyes as we’re doing all we can to have you spend less money," Reamy said.
Rather than replace Engine 5 this year for $675,000 and Engine 1 next year for $675,000, Reamy requested council roll both purchases into a single two-engine purchase this year for what he assured council would be no more than $935,000.
"These are bare-bones, no fancy bells and whistles apparatus," Reamy said. "They are simply to get us to the scene, put the fire out, do whatever work we have to do and get us back to the house."
While it's been borough policy to replace engines after 15 years -- typically one at a time becaue purchases are staggered -- two engines are coming up for replacement this year because past councils had delayed replacement.
Both of the pieces being replaced this year are older than 15 years. Engine 5, the fire department's spare engine, is 27 years old. Engine 1, a support piece, is 16 years old. Reamy said both pieces would be sold at auction to recoup some of the purchase cost for the new engines.
Especially Engine 1, he said, should net a decent return.
"Being that it’s 16 years old, it’s starting to show its age, but it’s still serviceable to somebody," Reamy said. "You could get $50, $75, $95,000 in cash right back into your budget. There’s definitely a market out there for a decent shape apparatus that somebody could use."
Another selling point Reamy made for bundling the purchases this year was that by waiting until next year the cost of a new truck would have increased anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000.
"If this was done next year," he said, "without batting an eye, it’s going to cost you probably $30,000 or more to place this order -- and that’s just with upgrades, federal regulations, I’m going to call it cost of living."
Reamy said the department would be able to purchase the new engines so cheaply this year because they'd be piggybacking off a bulk order from a major city that might be replacing as many as 60 engines at a time.
Once the two new engines arrive, the 17-year-old Engine 4 -- which is currently a front line piece -- will become the department's spare.
Engine 3 is the next apparatus in line to be replaced in 2016, Reamy said.