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By Troy Treasure
The Shelby Community Fire Department Board voted unanimously in early June to purchase a 2021 Freightliner 3,000 gallon pumper-tanker truck.
The deal with Danko Emergency Services Co. of Nebraska was finalized on June 30.
The total cost is $283,000.
“We on the board are a bunch of farmers; we don’t want to spend $283,000 for a truck. But when you go looking for fire equipment, the price of that stuff is so expensive,” Board president Mark Jackson said.
“When you get to looking for what we want and what we think we need for our area, you can’t find anything used … that’s any good. So, that’s the reason we went new.
“We want the safety of our firemen to be the most essential that we can do,” Jackson continued. “To me, buying this new truck is the best way to keep safety at the uppermost.”
Jackson said most of the used tanker trucks board members initially looked at were in the price range of $160,000, were either too long or too tall to be housed inside the fire station and did not possess a pump capable of drafting water from a lake or pond … an additional significant expense.
The board then investigated new tankers and discovered such trucks generally run in the neighborhood of $220,000 … but still without the desired pumping apparatus.
Fire Chief Mike Geisendorfer indicated the pump, which sits underneath the tank, is capable of powering 1,000 gallons of water a minute.
“We’re going to use it as a tanker to support our engine, which also carries 1,000 gallons of water. That way, when you show up on a structure fire with 4,000 gallons of water and you’ve got some manpower there, your capabilities of knocking a fire down and extinguishing it are greater than less water and having to travel to haul water,” Geisendorfer said.
“We will have the water capacity in the rural area to deal with structure fires that are not in town where we have a hydrant to use,” he added.
Jackson and Geisendorfer both cited the truck’s height and length were important considerations when having to negotiate gravel roads, in general, as well as paved surfaces with curves.