Mayor Sheldon Neeley’s administration put forward and Flint City Council passed resolutions authorizing the purchase of the trucks and other needed equipment for the Fire Department at the city council meeting Monday, March 13.
“These trucks are needed, and I’m thankful that we have been able to move forward to get these trucks in Flint as soon as possible,” Interim Fire Chief Theron Wiggins said. “Four new state-of-the-art fire trucks on the way certainly enhances morale for the Fire Department. When we have the resources we need in our city, residents can sleep easy knowing that when they need the Fire Department, we are prepared.”
A new pumper truck and equipment is expected to arrive in Flint by this June, made possible by $755,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds. This apparatus is the frontline vehicle dispatched to a fire scene, able to hit the fire immediately with 750 to 1,000 gallons of water.
Municipalities go through a competitive and sometimes lengthy process to purchase fire trucks from a limited number of manufacturers, so the three-month timeline for the first truck to arrive is unusually short.
“We were very thankful to identify a funding source when we did, since we were able to go ahead and purchase a pumper truck that is on the assembly line right now and will be ready very soon,” Chief Wiggins said.
The City is moving forward with purchasing another three fire trucks with General Fund dollars earmarked specifically for maintaining the City’s fleet of vehicles. The Fire Department will get a second new pumper truck, as well as a heavy rescue squad truck, and an aerial quint truck with a 75-foot ladder.
The squad truck provides backup at a fire scene or car accident with the jaws of life, air tanks, and other rescue equipment.
The quint truck is a pumper with a ladder that can extend a water source high in the air to reach multi-story buildings.
“I’m thankful that my administration and city council were able to work together to move this forward for Flint residents,” Mayor Neeley said. “Flint residents deserve to have a sense of safety knowing that their Fire Department is well-equipped to protect them. We are continuing to aggressively pursue additional funding to upgrade our fleet of fire apparatuses to make sure that our firefighters have the resources they need.”