The 1993 model ladder truck the Fort Scott Fire Department has is in need of replacement.
“We have to worry about the liability of that truck,” Fire Chief Paul Ballou said. “It’s past 25 years old…The ladder truck passed its’ certification, but it’s past its’ 25 years life…We are trying to get everything out of them that we can.”
Ballou expressed concerns about getting replacement parts for vehicles that old.
Newer models have longer ladders and more seats for firefighters
“This (ladder) is 75 feet,” Firefighter Travis Mewhinney said. “The one we are looking at (for replacement) is around 100 feet.”
“It seats three firefighters and a driver,” Mewhinney said. “The new one seats five firefighters and a driver.”
The ladder truck has been used to assist with training and fires with multi-story buildings.
“Like Victorian homes,” Ballou said. “Where you can’t get a ground ladder up to the roof.”
“It was used on the downtown fire (in 2005), and has been used in Nevada and Pleasanton in mutual aid (to their firefighters),” Mehinney said.
While the ladder truck is used less, the pumper truck is used virtually every day.
“The E1 pumper truck, a 1997, is used all the time,” Mewhinney said.
Jon Garrison, Fort Scott Director of Finance gave a preliminary budget update for the 2019 budget at the city commission meeting June 19, according to the unapproved city minutes.
Garrison stated there are two big projects coming up for consideration: the River Intake Structure which will cost approximately $5,000,000 and the purchase of two fire trucks – a ladder truck and a pumper truck which will amount to approximately $1,500,000, according to the unapproved minutes.
“A ladder truck averages close to $800,000 to $1 million,” Chief Ballou said. “A pumper truck is $305,000 to $450,000.”
Garrison desires to have a budget work session before the July 17 city commission meeting, with the 2019 budget being approved at the August 7 meeting, according to the unapproved minutes.