By Roxanne Brown
The Daily Commercial
CLERMONT, Fla. — Clermont may soon be getting a new fire truck to replace an aged one in Station 2 that will continue to serve as a backup.
According to the description of the vehicle, as prepared by Fire Chief Carle Bishop, the fire truck is a 2012 E-One HP 78E Max Aerial that is on hold with Halmark Fire Apparatus Corporation for $583,000.
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Clermont officials are set to vote on its final purchase tonight during 2013's first city council meeting beginning at 7 p.m.
"The truck is on hold pending the approval of the council for it, but we are excited at the prospect," said David Kilbury, the Clermont Fire Department's assistant chief of administration.
"This is something done only about every 20 years. It's not often a department gets a brand new truck, but I would say the lifespan of this truck is about 20-28 years," Kilbury said.
Kilbury said if approved, the new truck will replace a ladder truck currently assigned to Station 2 in the Hartwood Marsh Area. The old truck, in service since 2005, will then be sent in for preventative maintenance and placed into back-up mode.
"We have no dependable back-up for calls within out three stations, so that will be the role the old truck will step into," Kilbury added.
The new truck, Kilbury said, is longer than the old truck, measuring 78-feet instead of 75-feet, a new feature dictate by updated needs as reported by firefighters.
In addition, the new truck is a pumper truck, equipped with hoses and a water tank used for fighting fires with a built in ladder that can be raised using hydraulics to assist in rescues.
Kilbury said the truck in question is about $100,000 to $200,000 more than what a pumper truck or ladder truck might run on its own, but well worth it.
Some pumper trucks that have no ladders also require the use of a freestanding or separate ladder.
"Its not strictly a pumper truck and not strictly a ladder truck," Kilbury said. "It's a pumper truck but it has outriggers that can stabilize the truck and a ladder built right into it that can be raised using hydraulics."
The type of truck on hold is also of benefit to the residents of Clermont because it will allow the department to earn more points from the agency that rates the department.
In addition, Kilbury said that usually, when placing an order for a new truck, the production time for it runs about 8-10 months time.
For this truck, however, the department will only have to wait about about two or three months because the truck is currently in Indiana being used as a demo for the company which builds and sells them.
"That's a good incentive for us since we'll be able to get it here and out on calls in no time. I can just imagine what a beauty it will be," he said.
In Bishop's original request, the truck -- at the $583,000 -- cost came out to be $15,000 under the original $598,000 that had been budgeted for a new vehicle.
"This purchase has been delayed far too long. Now is the time. We must keep our fire department well equipped, said Councilman Ray Goodgame in an email.
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