WOONSOCKET – The city is ready to order a new fire truck from a South Dakota company to replace Engine No. 3 — a workhorse of the fire department that's about ready for retirement.
If the City Council approves, Crimson Fire will supply the Woonsocket Fire Department with a new engine at a cost of $263,981.
The city will pay for the vehicle in one fell swoop with proceeds from its $2 million federal Community Development Block Grant, an annual allotment which has been used for purchasing firefighting apparatus in the past.
With available resources for capital expenditures stretched thin, Fire Chief Gary Lataille says the fire department shopped around for a bargain and found the best deal with Crimson, a company that positions itself as a discount supplier of off-the-shelf firefighting equipment.
“This is a stock truck,” said Lataille. “It's not really like a custom build. They're built quickly and they're priced to sell.”
A resolution on the docket of the City Council's meeting on Monday would give Finance Director Thomas M. Bruce the authority to sign a contract for a Crimson “Legend” series engine. The contract calls for delivery of the vehicle by January, said Lataille.
There are four active engines among the city's firefighting apparatus, but none is older or more costly to maintain than Engine No. 3, housed at the North Main Street fire station. The 1995 KME has logged over 120,000 miles during its storied career.
“It's 15 years old and it's the busiest company in the city,” said Lataille. “On a regular basis, it takes a lot to maintain it.”
The city keeps a spare engine in reserve to back up Engine 3 and others in the event a vehicle is unavailable for any reason.
If the deal with Crimson is approved, Lataille said the fire department will keep Engine 3 as a secondary reserve vehicle.
Headquartered in Brandon, South Dakota, Crimson is a division of Spartan Motors, which manufactures a wide range of diesel-powered firefighting apparatus, ambulances and high-end recreational vehicles. The publicly-traded company acquired three well-known manufacturers of firefighting apparatus in the 1990s – Luverne, Quality Manufacturing and Road Rescue – and consolidated them under the Crimson Fire brand in 2003.