Osawatomie considers purchase of new fire truck

By Charity Keitel
Miami County Republic – March 3, 2017

Osawatomie Fire Department may be getting a new fire truck for its fleet. A discussion between fire chief Brian Love and Osawatomie City Council members Thursday led to a consensus that Love should begin gathering specifics and pricing to bring back to the council later.

Currently, the lead fire truck in Osawatomie’s fleet is a 1991 Pierce pumper. It has a 750 gallon water tank and a 1,000 gallon per minute pump. The second-line engine is a 1985 Smeal pumper, which is being leased from Miami County Fire District No. 1 for $4,200 per year.

Love said while the Smeal runs and drives, it shouldn’t be trusted for an interior attack. In addition, the Smeal’s pump engine is a secondary, automobile-style engine rather than the standard style in which pumps are PTO driven off of the truck engine.

Love said the style used in the Smeal doubles the opportunity for mechanical failure.

His proposal outlined three options for Osawatomie’s new truck.

One, the city could purchase a basic pumper and add a compressed air foam system (CAFS), which is the least expensive option and will maintain the current insurance service office (ISO) rating. The rough estimate is about $620,000.

Two, the city could purchase a “quint,” which would serve multiple roles, adding an elevated stream and ladder-rescue opportunities that Osawatomie currently doesn’t have unless Paola or Louisburg is called in to assist. He said the nearest unit, in that case, would be at least 20 minutes out.

Three, the city could purchase a ladder truck similar to the truck Louisburg purchased last year. This would be the most expensive option because it still would require the city to purchase an additional pumper truck to replace the old pumper truck, Love said.

The cost for a ladder truck would be more than $1 million plus another $600,000 or more for the pumper truck.

Love said he recommends pursuing the second option, which is to purchase a quint. A quint is a fire truck that provides a pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial device and ground ladders, and Love said it is a good compromise between the basic pumper truck without ladders and the ladder truck, which is too expensive but provides an elevated stream and ladder-rescue opportunities.

All three options would help maintain the current ISO rating, but the costs and effectiveness of each unit are very different. Love said the quint would cost roughly $730,000 but all estimates are subject to change after he is done researching the trucks.

The quint he is hoping to price is a Pierce 55’ Sky-Boom Quint with a 1,500 gallons per minute pump and a 750 gallon or larger booster tank. The truck will be CAFS capable or similar-system capable.

While this purchase is still a ways down the road, Love said he wanted to get the council’s opinion so that he could focus his attention on researching and pricing something that the City Council is more likely to approve.

If purchased, the new truck would take the lead position in Osawatomie Fire Department’s fleet, while the 1991 Pierce pumper would be moved to second line.

Love’s proposal also includes a 10-year purchase plan, which will rotate the lead engine to second line in 10 years. The engine would be retired after 20 years.

Love said Pierce trucks have a structural warranty of 20 years, and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends 20-year rotations on pumpers with 10 years front line and 10 years second line.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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