Kenai Fire Department is photographed earlier this year. Kenai City Council has authorized the purchase of a new fire engine for the department. (Photo by Erin Thompson)

Kenai Fire Department is photographed earlier this year. Kenai City Council has authorized the purchase of a new fire engine for the department. (Photo by Erin Thompson)

Kenai approves fire engine purchase

The Kenai City Council has authorized the purchase of a new fire engine for the Kenai Fire Department, to be built by Hughes Fire Equipment, Inc. in Florida.

The council unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday night authorizing the purchase with about $581,000 from the city’s Equipment Replacement Fund.This price tag includes the total amount of the vehicle, about $27,000 as a contingency and $9,000 to travel to the facility before, during and after the engine’s construction.

“The fire department is going to make three separate trips to the facility,” said Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander. “One a prebuild, one a midbuild and one after it’s constructed. Primarily during that prebuild, there may be items that need to be added or subtracted, and that contingency fund allows for that.”

The purchase order adds 5 percent, an additional $27,218, to Hughes’ bid of nearly $544, 365, to give the flexibility to add to the cost of that fire engine if needed.

About $400,000 of the purchase will be reimbursed through a State of Alaska Grant, according to city documents.

The new fire engine will have a 2,000-gallon water tank on board, allowing the fire department to use the new truck whenever they respond to a structure fire even if there is not fire hydrant on site. It will also have updated safety equipment so that it will always be the first response to all structure fires.

The fire engine will be replacing a 35-year-old truck that the Kenai Fire Department has used since 1983. The replacement will allow the fire department to effectively respond to emergencies and eliminate the expenses of upkeeping the older piece of equipment, according to city documents.

It is still in good condition, according to the fire department, but is outdated. There are several options for what the city will do with the old truck, but Ostrander said a donation is likely.

“The fire chief told me specifically that putting fire engines up for auction don’t particularly get good results,” Ostrander said. “We’ll probably look to donate it.”

Ostrander said they would look to donating to another fire department in the state, but that they will decide following more internal discussions.

Reach Kat Sorensen at ksorensen@peninsulaclarion.com.

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