MERRITT – With the onset of spring, the Merritt Area Fire Department recently announced the addition of a new vehicle to its garage that will help tackle the upcoming wildland and grass fire season.
The fire department recently replaced their surplus 1985 military pickup and a 1976 Dodge mini-pump with a newer 2015 Chevrolet 2500HD. Although the truck has been used, it only has 55,000 miles, according to a fire department press release.
“We were able to find this truck on a dealer’s used lot, in great condition,” Merritt chief Ed Nettle said.
The department also made a few additions to the truck, including a new bed, front bumper/winch, vinyl lettering, and fitted it with all-new emergency lighting. The poly tank and pump that sits on an aluminum skid unit was reused from an older truck.
The total cost of the new vehicle procurement project was $47,700. In addition to fighting wildfires, the fire department plans to use this truck to pull its breathing air supply trailer, assist at accident scenes, downed power lines, and structure fires. .
A useful life for the truck is expected to be approximately 20 years.
“The MAFD Board and Fire Department have budgeted for this replacement. We are always striving to get the most out of our community’s tax dollars,” Nettle said. “The cost of a brand new truck made this new used truck a great option.”