Saugatuck-Douglas Fire Department Selling Heavy Rescue Truck To Chile
The local fire chief says he is not surprised that people as far away as the country of Chile are interested in purchasing his department’s heavy rescue truck.
“It’s a good truck. I think they see the value,” said Saugatuck Township Fire District Chief Greg Janik about the fire truck with an asking price of $124,000.
The prospective sell is all part of the fire department’s ongoing objective: to reduce truck inventory and use those funds to offset the cost of replacing the almost 29-year-old aerial fire truck with a newer model.
The department’s current truck has a reach of 65-feet; it seeks a ladder truck with a bucket and a reach of 100 feet.
“We thought that would be good for the community,” said Janik. The Saugatuck Township Fire District (STFD) Board agrees. “It’s an addition to the fire department we have been talking about for a long time,” STFD Board Chair Jane Verplank recently noted.
Municipal officials from the tri-community, which the STFD serves, have acknowledged that increased development may also bring about increased height in buildings, and therefore, the need for a taller ladder truck.
Janik estimates a newer aerial fire truck, between the years 1995 and 1998, to be about $215,000.
A new one would cost anywhere between $250,000 and $1 million.
The department has mustered some funding at this point by already selling a different vehicle, a “pumper engine 2” for $46,000 to a fire department in Ohio.
The board and the fire department have also discussed selling the old tower truck, but Janik says he will be asking the board to keep it.
“Rather than giving it up for nothing or selling it for scrap, we are better off keeping it as an auxiliary pumper,” he said, adding the truck has a “good pump on it.”
As for the fire truck that could possibly be on its way to Chile, it is neither a tower truck nor a pumper truck, rather it is designed to provide equipment for specialized rescues, including ice water rescues and vehicle extrication in auto accidents.
“Until the check is in the bank, it is not a done deal yet,” he said, adding that both the buyer and seller are working with their respective agents to bring about a final sale with the Chileans.