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Pa. fire departments pursue trading fire trucks for firefighting training

Easton FD is considering sending two pieces of fire apparatus to the Allentown FD; Allentown in turn would waive tuition for two recruits Easton currently has in the Allentown Fire Academy

Allentown Fire Department

Allentown Fire Department

By Kurt Bresswein
The Express-Times

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Two Lehigh Valley fire departments are looking to swap fire trucks for firefighter training.

Easton City Council at its meeting Wednesday night is scheduled to consider a resolution to approve sending two pieces of fire apparatus, which are not currently in use, to the Allentown Fire Department.

Allentown, in turn, would waive the tuition of two of six recruits Easton currently has in the Allentown Fire Academy, according to the proposal.

The trucks are a 1995 E-One and KME Predator pumper. Easton is in the process of replacing both, according to the resolution.

Easton council last November approved purchasing a $1.14 million 2027 Pierce Enforcer pumper truck and in April 2022 agreed to purchase a 2024 Pierce Enforcer 107-foot Tractor-Drawn Aerial at a cost of $1,718,600. The council in 2021 approved purchasing two used, 2010 fire pumper trucks at a total cost of $550,000.

Allentown has previously traded fire academy tuition for equipment with both Bethlehem and Easton , fire Deputy Chief Christian Williams said Tuesday. The trucks in Easton’s latest proposal could be used as reserve apparatus or for training, Williams said.

“We believe that we have some use for them and it makes fiscal sense to take advantage of what they’re offering,” he said.

Allentown has two new engines ordered, but delivery is delayed — a common issue in the fire apparatus industry, Williams said. The city had hoped to take delivery last year but is now looking at 2025, he said.

Fire academy tuition is valued at about $8,000 per recruit, Williams said.

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