The Copperas Cove City Council approved the purchase of three new fire apparatuses for $1.3 million to replace a large portion of the fire department’s in-service fleet on Tuesday.
“From the citizens’ standpoint, this gives us modernized, updated pieces of equipment,” said Deputy Fire Chief of Operations Mike Ramminger.
A new ladder fire engine makes up $1.02 million of the total, which will be purchased from Metro Fire Apparatus.
This engine will have a 103-foot ladder compared to the fire department’s current 23-year-old, 75-foot ladder truck, Ramminger said. The increased length will help service the taller buildings that have been erected throughout the city in recent years.
Two new brush trucks also were purchased for about $320,000. The trucks will come from Houston-based Chastang Ford with the modifications being performed by Metro Fire Apparatus.
Those trucks will hold more water, be safer for firefighters and more durable to the environments in which they work, Ramminger said.
“They allow us the ability to better mitigate wildland incidents,” he said.
Money for the vehicles is coming from a $4.2 million bond residents approved in November for the construction of a new fire station at Avenue B and Grimes Crossing. The city only budgeted for the purchase of one brush truck, but a second one was added when it was apparent the fire engine was coming in under budget.
“We had a budget of $1.4 million, and the price was good enough for two brush trucks,” City Manager Andrea Gardner said.
The remainder of the bond money will be used on construction of the new fire station, which is still in the bid process. The new station will replace Fire Station No. 2 outside of City Park and be about three times the size.
Gardner said she hopes construction of the station will start in the fall of this year.
The old trucks will move to reserve status.
“As a command staff, we will have to figure out how best to use the remaining vehicles to optimize our abilities,” Ramminger said.
“A reserve vehicle is one that is still serviceable, and that is used as a backup if there is an issue with the first vehicle.”
In emergencies, the city can use those vehicles to work larger brush fires, he said.
Currently the city’s ladder truck operates from the central fire station, and the brush trucks operate from stations No. 2 and No. 3.