City to purchase new fire truck

The Jacksboro Fire Department is looking to replace two of its vehicles with a newer one.

The department would like to replace a rescue truck and a pumper truck with a vehicle that will do both at a cost of approximately $400,000.

City Manager Mike Smith said the rescue truck is beginning to require significant maintenance.

“We expect that to progress,” he said.

JFD Assistant Chief Jeff Jackson began a presentation for the council outlining that the department operates with one full-time dedicated staff, Chief Jeremy Jennings and two other paid fireman who also read water meters and perform other public works duties for the city. The base pay for the two firemen besides the chief comes of the utility fund with their overtime pay for fire coming out of the general fund.

There are 43 volunteers on its roster including Jackson.

The department responded to 1,133 calls in 2015.

These calls range from structure fires, motor vehicle crashes, medical calls, wildland fires and other emergencies,” Jackson said.

He said the department is looking to replace the vehicles because one, the rescue truck, has serious mechanical issues and has been out of service for 30 days this calendar year.

“That is our first out truck for medical calls and car crashes so as you can imagine, that’s not a good truck to have out of service,” Jackson said.

The truck, which was not designed for firefighting use, is exceeding its weight limit loaded down with firefighting equipment.

Jackson said the manufacturers recommended maximum weight is 19,500. With all of the equipment on it, the Rescue 1 truck comes in at 25,700.

He said replacing the truck will improve firefighter safety as the current truck’s design requires dangerous lifting of heavy objects overhead to remove them from the truck.

“We can’t serve our community if one of us is down,” Jackson said.

He added the department is also looking to increase its response capacity and response readiness.

The other truck to be replaced would be Engine 1 which has a low gallons per minute pump, but Jackson said the Jack County Rural Volunteer Fire Department has expressed interest in purchasing it.

The department would like to purchase a 2010 Ferrara MVP which stands for multi-vocational pumper. Jackson referred to its condition as gently-used.

He said the original owner returned it to the factory, which does not typically take returns, over an issue of union labor used in the manufacturing.

Through financing, the Ferrara MVP would have about a $28,600 a year note and Jackson said it would have a 30-year life and has five years of factory warranty left.

Routine maintenance on each of the two trucks it would replace amounts to $7,500 per year each. With the Rescue 1 mechanical issues, the city spent $8,522 in repairs for 2014, $6,413 in 2015 and $3,726 so far for 2016 — for a total of $18,661 in less than three years.

Until the current fiscal year, the city had budgeted $20,000 per year in firetruck payments. 

“I think you’re going to have enough savings in that (repair and maintenance) to offset some of it,” said Councilman Joe Mitchell.

Smith said Rescue 1 went out on a call recently and never made it to the crash site.

“If Robert can’t make it to a water issue because his truck breaks down, that’s one thing,” Smith said. “But if these guys can’t make it to a fire because the truck breaks down, that’s a problem.”

The council approved the city moving forward with the purchase of the truck.

Jacksboro Newspapers

212 N. Church
PO Drawer 70
Jacksboro, Texas 76458

Phone: (940) 567-2616
FAX: (940) 567-2071