By Meg Olson
Point Roberts fire department will be adding a lean, mean firefighting machine to its fleet.
At their October 10 meeting fire district commissioners approved a resolution authorizing the purchase of the new fire truck and waiving the requirement for competitive bids.
The new fire vehicle is not your typical fire truck. A mini-pumper demonstration unit, it is smaller and more maneuverable than the district’s larger trucks, requires less personnel, and is better suited for the needs of Point Roberts, said fire chief Christopher Carleton.
“After studying our risk profile in detail a few years ago it was determined our first line vehicle should be a specific type built for rapid, maneuverable and flexible response,” Carleton said.
The new unit has a 2018 Ford F550 chassis with a 300-gallon water tank, 25-gallon foam tank and a pump capacity that is the same as the larger engines. It also provides compressed air foam capacity and will carry three ladders. “This gives us a very flexible, maneuverable and adroit first line engine that will continue to be backed by our larger and much older (23 and 27 years of service) traditional pumpers,” Carleton said. “With it we can respond to essentially any of our principal risks, reach it quickly and hold it in check until additional help is mobilized if and how required.”
The cost of the unit is $300,000 and is budgeted in the department’s capital improvement plan for this year as part of the fleet replacement program. “It’s thanks to the taxpayers we can move forward” without having to look for a bond or a levy increase, Carleton said.