Pratt Moves Forward With Replacing Fire Engine

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Monday, December 5, 2011

After three commission meetings, there was a resolution tonight in Pratt.

Commissioners thought it was better to replace the 33-year-old engine than to spend tens of thousands of dollars repairing it.

"I can't put my people in positions where I feel like there's any unsafe place for them to be and we rely on that equipment," said Pratt Fire Chief Dave Kramer.

Kramer said the 1978 Seagraves pumper is worth about $10,000 but it is in need of repairs that add up to $42,275. The Commission preferred replacing the engine with a newer but used pumper or engine, rather than paying for repairs.

"We're glad that we've come to at least a resolution of moving forward in trying to what we feel like is a better option than perhaps fixing our older truck," said Kramer.

Engine #6 has problems with both its tank and pumps. This fall, the truck failed to pass two out of three pump tests, which Kramer said could have increased commercial insurance costs and challenged his firefighters.

"That becomes a challenge into some calls. Our own tactical protocols, the way we set up each fire call, dictates what we do with our trucks," said Kramer.

The Mayor of Pratt said they wanted to make sure they were spending taxpayers' money wisely and were concerned about the safety of the volunteer firefighters, as well as the citizens.

"We want both of them to be safe. We don't want our insurance rates to go up in the community. We have a lot of concerns but also at the same time we need to be conscience of the money that we spend," said Mayor Jeff Taylor.

The motion was passed for Kramer to investigate prices for a used pumper or engine by the Jan. 3 meeting.

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