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State of Aged Monmouth Fire Department Equipment a Concern

Public safety entails sound decision-making and quick reaction time. The Monmouth City Council and Fire Department have some decisions to make in the near future regarding the status of their fire engines and ladder truck. Monmouth Fire Chief Casey Rexroat spoke to Council Monday night about the need to begin planning for future replacement of those vehicles. City Administrator Lew Steinbrecher shared his thoughts on the scenario:

“We do have an aged fleet here in the Fire Department, and I think eventually we are going to have to take a serious look at identifying some revenue sources to start putting away funds for replacement of these vehicles because obviously we don’t want to be in the position where we can’t respond appropriately to emergency calls,” he said.

Two of the Department’s current fire engines are 14 years old, one is 18 years old, and the ladder truck is now 20 years old. Steinbrecher estimated a new fire engine would cost around $500,000, while a new ladder truck could be in the neighborhood of $1 million.

The Department has been working to fix any maintenance issues on trucks one at a time so it does not affect their ability to respond to calls. However, the repairs have started to escalate in frequency and costs.

written by Jackson Kane