A city the size of Sandy Springs has to re-evaluate its fire trucks every seven years, said Deputy Chief Mark Duke.
“In seven years we’ll evaluate these new trucks,” he said.
Last Friday, Mayor Rusty Paul, Fire Rescue Chief Jack McElfish, along with Duke, Deputy Chief Daryl Smith, City Manager John McDonough, and Councilman Ken Dishman presented the fleet of six new vehicles. They trucks were parked in the former Target parking lot.
There are two new quantum engine-pumpers, three new quantum quint aerials with 105 foot ladders and one new quantum quint platform with a 100 foot platform and bucket.
The platform bucket helps with firefighter safety so they don't have to cling to a ladder, Duke said. “But we also use it for rescues. if you have to get someone off an apartment balcony or a highrise...they can walk right out of the window and right into the bucket,” he added.
The city started looking into a new fleet last March.
“You have a conceptual idea of what you want…then you sit down with vendors and start drawing things out on paper first, ” Duke told Patch. “During the build out process you make a couple of visits to the plant. We had a company that videoed and took pictures of the trucks in every aspect. Every week we got a report from Wisconsin. If something didn’t look right we made adjustments.”
The trucks were bought through Wisconsin-based Pierce Manufacturing, one of the top five vendors for fire trucks, Duke said. Pierce, which provided the initial fleet when Sandy Springs incorporated, bought back the original trucks.
“They will sell those trucks to a smaller department. The trucks still have many more years on them but not in this city with as many calls as we run. We’re running 15,000 calls a year. Whereas they may sell them to a department that’s running 1,000 calls per year,” Duke said.
The total cost of the vehicles was $4,885,793. With credits from the buyback and upfront purchase, the amount financed by the city is $3,507,449, a media statement said.
“This is a great accomplishment,” said Chief McElfish. “It’s true life saving technology. It’s a super way to serve our citizens and our community.”