Fire Departments Seeks to Save Rescue Truck; Council Transfers Money

Interim Fire Chief John E. Parow.

Haverhill city councilors Tuesday unanimously approved a fire department funding transfer to, among other things, extend the life of a fire department rescue truck.

The council approved a $118,542 transfer from fire salaries and wages to the department’s fire apparatus and repair expense account. Interim Fire Chief John E. Parow told councilors an independent study conducted last January recommended it was “economically wise” to refurbish the rescue unit until a replacement later.

“It gets us a rescue, number one, which will get us valuable tools and a cascade system to the fire ground. But more importantly, I think it speeds up the time that we get a rescue back on the street. If we were fortunate enough to get new money, about $400,000 for a new rescue, we’re about 18 months out. We’re hoping to cut that time down to five or six months to get this rescue back on the road,” Parow said.

Parow estimated the truck and equipment upgrades, including a rear frame replacement, would extend the life of the 15-year old rescue truck another five to seven years.

“The typical life expectancy of a rescue is about 20 years, 22 years with a “refurb.” We’ve got 15 into it now. If we can gain another five years, or another seven years for $120,000 – and we feel it should be less than that – if you… take 25 percent of… $400,000, we’re using 120 – still it makes sense to do and we’ll have some resale value to it,” Parow said.

According to Parow, the repair project will be sent out for bids.

One thought on “Fire Departments Seeks to Save Rescue Truck; Council Transfers Money

  1. This doesn’t make economic sense and is bad for taxpayers.

    If a $400,000. truck has a life expectancy of 20 years that means the amortization cost is $20,000./year.
    Repairing the truck at $120,000. for just 5 years additional usage means that is costing $24,000./year.
    And since the money was obviously just sitting there in the city coffers, collected, but not being used, that means the future expense to taxpayers for a new truck would be $280,000. or $14,000./year.
    Over the 5 years taxpayers are paying $50,000.00 more than they would be if the transferred funds were instead invested into a new truck now. And waiting 5 years the new truck will certainly cost more than the $400K it does currently. This further increases the opportunity of cost of not investing in a new truck now. To say the truck, if fixed, will have resale value in 5 years makes absolutely no sense. What city is going to buy a 20 year old truck?