Weather Forecast


Fire chief recommends selling 1982 fire truck

Fire Chief Marv Calvin is recommending the city sell the department's 1982 Ford Luverne pumper. Tribune photo by David Little

WILLMAR -- Willmar Chief Marv Calvin is recommending City Council members agree to sell the department's 1982 Ford Luverne pumper because the truck is rarely used and is no longer a required piece of equipment.

The number of fire calls at which Engine No. 5252 has been used has decreased during the past 10 years from 90 calls in 2000 to 1 call in 2008. During a recent three-year period, the truck was used 6 times in 2005, once in 2006 and 3 times in 2007.

"With the current staffing levels that we have and the fact that that vehicle was not used very often the last three years makes it extremely valuable to liquidate that piece of equipment,'' said Calvin.

The city would recoup about half of the $130,000 price when the truck was new. The Dwight, N.D., Fire Department is offering to buy the pumper for $65,000. The purchase includes siren horns, warning lights, ladders, poles and other equipment.

Calvin said the department does not have a plan to replace the truck. The department has 10 other pieces of rolling stock, and also has a 1997 hazardous materials trailer and a 2004 state decontamination trailer for use throughout the county and lake region, or wherever the unit may be needed, he said.

As part of the department's vehicle and equipment replacement plan, Calvin studied the vehicle's frequency of use, repair costs and replacement. Calvin said it did not make sense to spend an estimated $325,000 to replace a vehicle that is seldom used.

In addition, the recent inspection by the Insurance Services Office of Chicago, which rates fire departments nationwide, said the truck was not required because the department has sufficient pumping capacity and has enough reserve pumpers.

"That allowed us to have the ability to try to sell it,'' said Calvin.

Calvin's request has received the support of the council's Public Works/Safety Committee. A report on the committee's recommendation along with other action items will be presented to the council at the regular meeting at 7 p.m. today in the chambers at the Municipal Utilities Building, 700 Litchfield Ave. S.W.

The Public Works/Safety Committee will also report its support for closing 23rd Street Northeast as the solution to reducing crashes at the Business 71/County Road 24/23rd Street Northeast intersection.

The council will also receive reports from the Finance Committee and the Community Development Committee.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150