These were some of the images and stories shared with Grand Haven Township residents on Monday about why a new fire truck is needed in their community.
The township’s public safety committee hosted the public informational meeting about the purchase for a $750,000 quint fire truck. Trustee Tom Jenkins welcomed attendees to the township’s Fire/Rescue Department, saying the information provided to them was not spurred by local politics.
“There is nothing political in this presentation,” Jenkins said.
The proposed quint would replace the township’s 23-year-old Engine 1022, a 1989 Pierce and the department’s “first-out” engine. The 1022 is obsolete and has experienced equipment failures, Fire/Rescue Chief Tom Gerencer said. In the past 14 months, it has been out of service for 77 days.
“It’s becoming unreliable,” he said.
Gerencer said they hope to keep 1022 as a secondary truck, but that decision would be up to the Township Board. He said it would cost less than $25,000 to maintain the truck for about 10 years. Keeping 1022 in the department’s fleet might also help lower the township’s insurance rate.
Township officials have already approved spending $400,000 for the $725,000 quint fire truck. Township voters will be asked Aug. 7 to OK funding the remaining $325,000 in a one-year, 0.59-mill levy on property taxes.
Gerencer detailed the needs for a quint, rather than a typical fire engine, at the special meeting. He also explained the uses of Grand Haven Department of Public Safety’s 100-foot aerial truck and why that would be used in fighting certain fires in the township. However, the city’s aerial would not be able to maneuver into certain neighborhoods — such as the Grand Haven Club condominiums on Lakeshore Drive — because of narrow roads.
A quint, however, would be effective in that type of situation, Gerencer said.
He also said it would cost $1 million for an aerial truck in today’s economy.
Currently, none of the township’s fire engines or tankers have the foam capabilities of neighboring fire departments for extinguishing fires. The quint would have Class A foam, which knocks down fires 2-3 times faster than water, Gerencer said, and would reduce water consumption and damage.
“It’s a dangerous job and we’re trying to give our firefighters the right tools so it’s less dangerous for them to do their jobs,” he said.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.