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NPR to spend $435,000 for new fire truck

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NEW PORT RICHEY — With some fire department vehicles beginning to show their age, New Port Richey City Council members did not hesitate to approve buying a new fire truck for $435,000.

The city fleet includes three fire engines and a ladder truck, Fire Chief Alex Onishenko explained in a recent memo.

For a week last summer, the department was operating with only one fire engine. The other two were out of service while at specialty shops to repair mechanical problems, according to Onishenko.

Ordinarily, he said, the fire department relies on a fire truck for 10 years of “frontline service,” plus another five years as a reserve vehicle.

The department wants to replace the 1996 Sutphen fire truck, which was in regular use for 13 years, Onishenko reported. Because of the age of the vehicle, the 1996 truck has little trade-in value. So the city probably will have to pursue marketing the truck to rural volunteer fire departments.

The city will buy its new Pierce fire truck pumper from Ten-8 Fire Equipment, in Bradenton. Since fire trucks are custom-built, the city should take delivery of the new engine by July 2014, Onishenko said.

The company gave the city a price break on the vehicle through a prepay discount payment. Under standard financing, the fire engine would have cost nearly $450,000. The New Port Richey budget contains enough for the $435,000 purchase price.

“They have always provided the fire department with excellent service after the sale with all of our vehicle needs,” Onishenko wrote in a memo. The company, which borrowed its name from the code that means “in service,” employs some 80 people, according to its website.

The fire department bought its last vehicle in 2008 through Ten-8, Onishenko pointed out. The city bought its ladder truck in 1993 from the firm. Ten-8 executives also might assist the city in finding a buyer for its 1996 truck.

Base specifications for the new Pierce fire engine include a turbocharged diesel engine with minimum 350 horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque. The water tank can hold 750 gallons. The fuel tank will hold 50 gallons. Automatic transmission and air conditioning come as standard equipment.

The Pierce vehicle comes with a 5-year warranty for engine, transmission and fire pump. The frame has a lifetime warranty, while the body is guaranteed for 10 years.

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