Dayton VFD to get new pumper truck

This drawing is of the pumper truck Dayton Fire Department will receive sometime this summer. The truck is a commercial freightliner four-door pumper with 1,500 gallons per minute water distribution. It has an aluminum body with side-mount control panel.

At a special-called meeting on Thursday, Dayton City Council approved the purchase of a new pumper truck for Dayton Volunteer Fire Department. The $349,000 purchase is being made through the Houston-Galveston Area Council, which has its own cooperative purchasing program.

The pumper truck eventually will replace an aging 90s-model pumper truck that is requiring near-monthly repairs. Before the aging equipment can by cycled out of operation, the fire department must first have repairs made on its second, newer model pumper truck, according to Dayton City Manager Theo Melancon and Dayton Councilman and Firefighter Alvin Burress.

“The newer pumper was involved in an accident in 2016 and it has never worked the same since then, so we are sending it out for repairs,” Burress said. “We are constantly having it repaired, too, so we went to the city and said, ‘Hey, can you help us fix this issue?'”

With some help from the City’s finance department, funds for the new pumper truck were allocated from a $2.5 million bond that was approved last year, according to Melancon.

“We planned well in advance for this,” the city manager said. “This truck is important because our emergency response is an area we have worked hard to improve, as highlighted by our ISO rating of 2. It’s important that our fire department has the right tools to succeed. Our volunteers have proven that with the right equipment they can do amazing things.”

The new truck will help the fire department avoid costly repairs in the future, but it also will check a box in the ISO rating system, which could move the rating up even higher. The higher the rating, the lower the ISO number.

The better rating gives the city an advantage when competing for industrial business development and could also mean lower homeowners insurance rates for those insured by carriers who recognize the ISO rating.

“As a councilman and fireman, the relationship between the fire department and the City has grown in the last three years since Theo has been the city manager,” Burress said. “He, as well as the council and Police Chief Robert Vine, have been really alert to our needs.”

While the purchase for the pumper truck had reached a crisis level, prompting a special-called meeting, plans to make the purchase have been in the works for a long time, Burress said.

“This isn’t just something that popped up. This is something we planned for. A lot of people put a lot of thought into it,” he said. “It’s all part of a longterm plan to provide a better service, not just for the ISO rating, but for the people and businesses of Dayton. We hope that our success as an agency will provide a blueprint to others in the county on how to improve.”

The new truck – a Daco brand, freightliner four-door pumper with 1,500 gallons per minute water distribution – has an aluminum body with side-mount control panel. It includes a foam fire suppression system.

The new truck should be ready by June or July 2020, according to Burress.

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