ATLANTIC CITY — Equipment reinforcements are on the way for the Fire Department.
City Council approved the $976,000 purchase of a ladder truck. Chief Scott Evans said he expects the truck to be delivered by September.
The apparatus is the first new truck the department has received in more than a decade.
“The trucks we have now — we’ve gotten our money’s worth out of them, two times over,” Evans said. “It’s a big-ticket item. It’s a big expense. But it does a lot for the community.”
The truck was purchased through the Houston-Galveston Area Council Cooperative Purchasing Program, a government-to-government procurement system that City Council voted to participate in last year. The co-op offers reduced pricing for government entities.
The Fire Department has seven engines, two ladder trucks and one rescue vehicle in operation. However, several of the rigs have mechanical and operational issues, including leaky hoses and pumps, bald tires and worn brakes, which local officials have expressed concern over.
“The new purchase approval for a fire apparatus is essential,” said Mayor Frank Gilliam Jr. “Our firefighters deserve to have the best equipment. Having the new apparatus is important to the safety of our firefighters and the safety of our residents.”
Evans said the new truck is being built specifically for Atlantic City and takes into account the resort’s unique infrastructure. The truck has a lower profile and allows for better overhead clearance, which is ideal for “rescues where there’s not a lot of room to maneuver,” Evans said.
“Every city is different,” he said. “So, they don’t build one truck that fits (everywhere). You have to have a truck that fits your city.”
The ladder truck will be housed at Station 1 on the corner of Atlantic and Maryland avenues, according to Evans.
“That fire truck is going to save lives, and it’s going to help protect this city,” the chief said.