GFD shopping for new pumpers

Photo providedPictured is a Spartan pumper firetruck, which can cost anywhere from $400,000 to $600,000.

GREENSBURG — Working through the cooperative purchasing agent Sourcewell, the Greensburg Fire Department, Washington Township and the City of Greensburg are in the process of buying two new firetrucks: a pumper and a tank/pumper.

“It just makes sense,” said GFD Chief Garrett. “We have to keep up with growth in the community, and we’ve got to look down the road at what’s going on in Greensburg. Will we be ready for a new airport? We’ve got to be ready for whatever comes.”

Working closely with Washington Township Trustee Christian Rust and Charity Wilder, Chief Garrett and a specially appointed committee comprised of experienced and tenured city firefighters Troy Harmon, Trevor Cook and Jared Prentiss, plans are afoot to purchase two new vehicles to replace three already in service and needing to be updated.

“Engine 4 is the current pumper at Station 2 right now,” said Harmon. “The vehicle we’re considering to replace that pumper is a Spartan with a shorter wheelbase, tighter turning radius, same size water tank with an in integrated foam tank. It will have a little bit more storage, a more ergonomic set-up with a 1,500 gallon pump versus the 1,200 pump we have. And since we’re looking at replacing the old one, we’ve got to find something that will have a long life, and the Spartan is a 25 year truck.”

According to Garrett and Harmon, the average lifespan of such vehicles is right at the age of the existing trucks.

“We’ve got to stay current if we’re going to be able to take care of the process a community that’s growing endures,” Harmon said.

He continued, explaining that the current tanker being replaced is 34 years old, and even though the rescue pumper is a bit newer at 22 years, “the advantages are obvious,” said Harmon.

“We have a lot to consider while we think about this. We want something with a shorter wheel base, so that we are more maneuverable. And the newer vehicles have double-sided control options,” Harmon said. “You can operate valves from both sides, either by line of sight or by looking at the TV monitor on the other side of the vehicle.”

A big advantage for Spartan vehicles is that all features – body, chassis, gadgetry – all are under one Spartan warranty.

“That way, if one things stops working, we only have one company to call to get it replaced or repaired,” Garrett said.

Garrett and Harmon are both experienced firefighting personnel: both have been on the job for more than than 20 years each, and both are quite aware of the importance of making the correct purchase.

“These vehicles are priced, just with the basic package, at $400,000 and can go up to a million,” said Harmon. “And if you don’t request something special, something that will help your particular department with an issue pertinent to only your department, well ... .”

“Then you won’t get it, and we’ve got to spend the public tax money wisely,” Chief Garrett finished.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext. 7011 or email at bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com.