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Pell City Council OKs purchase of $800,000 fire truck

Pell City City Hall

City Hall in Pell City

PELL CITY -- The Pell City Council has approved the purchase of a new $800,000 fire truck.

During its regular meeting Monday, the council approved a request from fire Chief Tim Kurzejeski for a new heavy duty ladder truck to operate out of Fire Station 2 at the Pell City Civic Center. 

The truck, which the chief refers to as a “quint,” will allow the Pell City Fire Department to consolidate a 75-foot ladder truck, fire engine and rescue truck into one vehicle.

“It will streamline our operations and make them more efficient,” Kurzejeski said. “It's a true all-hazard type apparatus that will be staffed 24 hours a day seven days a week,”

Kurzejeski said his department had been working on plans for the new truck for two years. 

He said Station No. 2 operates the department’s reserve fire engine, put into service in 1995, but recent mechanical issues with the truck have caused the chief to feel it no longer meets the standard of a front-line fire truck. 

The plan is to replace the reserve truck with the quint truck and return it to reserve status.

The quint truck will also add another ladder truck to the city’s fleet of fire trucks. The municipality operates a 110-foot ladder truck that recently returned to service after some repairs. 

Kurzejeski said with the ladder on the new truck, the larger ladder truck will continue to be crewd but kept for specific uses, like industrial and commercial fires.

The truck approved by the council is a demonstration truck that will be bought directly from a distributor. These demo trucks come mostly equipped and with full warranties. 

They also don’t have the long lead time that ordering a truck would have. The chief said the city could take possession of the demo truck in a month as opposed to waiting 12 to 14 months if the municipality decided to order a truck.

Going with a demo truck will also save the city money, with Kurzejeski saying it will save the municipality $75,000 to $100,000 when compared to ordering a truck. 

“Its funny to stand up here and explain to y'all that this project to spend $800,000 is actually going to save us money, but it is,” he said 

While the council has approved committing to the purchase of the truck, City Manager Brian Muenger said city officials will still have to look at how exactly they will go about paying for it. 

Muneger said the municipality is looking at partial and full financing options but will not have the specific proposals back unto Oct. 16. He said the council will consider which plan to go with during its next meeting Oct. 26, when the council will also look at Capital Improvement Budget requests for the upcoming year.

Further coverage of this meeting will appear in a future edition of The Daily Home.

Taylor Mitchell, Daily Home reporter covering Pell City.