West Fargo adds new pumper truck, mulls another soon
City plans to buy another truck as it takes about a year.
WEST FARGO — The West Fargo Fire department received a new pumper truck just as it considers getting a jump on purchasing another new truck in the near future.
The department is working ahead to keep its force in line with the growing population. As it prepares to build a new headquarters this spring, Fire Chief Dan Fuller proposed buying a new ladder truck now while prices are only starting to climb rather than a few years down the road when a current truck will need to be replaced.
Fuller said the truck is required if the city still hopes to get a fire insurance rating of one, the best rating a city can receive. The lowest rating can have an effect on some property insurance rates.
"This has actually been on my burner for sometime now," Fuller said at a recent West Fargo City Commission meeting.
A new truck was not budgeted for this soon, but inflation, supply chain and labor issues have continued to shoot costs up, including the cost of the headquarters construction, which was initially estimated to cost about $10 million but now will likely cost around $18 million.
This week, the department announced the arrival of a all-hazards pumper carries tools, a full complement of National Fire Protection Association recommended hoses and a 750-gallon water tank to pump water on scenes of fires. The rescue unit is used for fire scene rehabilitation, air tank refills, heavy rescue, water rescue and hazmat operations.
The new pumper replaces an engine with 14 years of service. The new rescue unit replaces a unit with 20 years of service. The NFPA recommends that equipment this old is replaced with vehicles that have interior surface materials that can be decontaminated of carcinogens. Mitigating exposure to carcinogens is important because according to the Centers for Disease Control cancer is a leading cause of death among firefighters.
“The addition of this new pumper and rescue unit helps the department meet the NFPA recommendations to replace equipment,” Fuller said in a statement. “This equipment will not only help keep our community safe, but also keeps our firefighters safe from cancer.”
Fifty percent of this equipment cost is through a North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality grant. The goal of the grant is to replace older diesel vehicles with new, cleaner diesel vehicles. The grant money is a result of a settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Volkswagen over the company’s misrepresentation of diesel emissions for their products. Capital improvement sales tax will fund the remaining cost of the vehicles.