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City set to receive new fire truck

By CJ Goater Feb 27, 2024 | 1:49 PM

A new pumper fire truck is set to hit the streets of Thunder Bay in 2025.

City council approved taking $438,000 from the Fire Rescue Apparatus/Equipment Reserve Fund to finance the remaining cost of the $1,271,856.79 truck.

The 2022 and 2023 Capital Budgets included $500,000 and $400,000 respectively towards the truck, but ultimately the cost has increased since then.

“We’ve seen at least a 30 per cent increase in cost over the last four years, if not more,” said Acting Chief of Fire Dave Paxton. “The engine package that will be on this truck is roughly an extra $100,000 compared to the previous one, and it’s not just the engine, it’s the engine, the transmission and the cooling package, and that’s to meet the emissions that are now required for 2024.”

Although a cost increase was expected, the final bill may have been higher than anticipated.

“When you factor it all together, it was a big hit, quite unexpected. Our last two trucks were in the 700,000 just under 800,000 range that were the same as this one,” added Paxton.

The cost was a concern for council, but the need for safe firefighting equipment prevailed.

“We are up against the wall in terms of finances, right? I mean, this is $725,000 for a pumper in the past and now we’re at 1.2 (million dollars) after our rebates. There’s a significant cost increase to doing business and we still have to wait 18 months to get this,” said Councillor Andrew Foulds “So even though it costs more, to some extent, this is the reality that we face, but we absolutely need to get the right safe operational machines to our workers to do their job.”

The new truck was approved at committee of the whole and it is pending final approval at city council.