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Village Board approves spending for purchase of new fire engine, ambulance
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Village Board approves spending for purchase of new fire engine, ambulance

From the Collection: New developments in Pleasant Prairie series
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village of pleasant prairie logo

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PLEASANT PRAIRIE — The fire department will spend nearly $1 million to upgrade its fleet with a new rescue engine and an ambulance.

On Monday, the Village Board unanimously authorized spending $732,963 on the engine and $259,238 on the ambulance, two recommendations the McGrath Consulting group published in a study of the department’s needs earlier this year.

The village originally received bids for the engine in December 2018 but delayed the project until the fire study could be completed, according to Fire Chief Craig Roepke. The purchase of the ambulance also was delayed pending the study’s results.

The village and the department re-opened discussions with Reliant, negotiating revisions and reviewing the apparatus proposal that would later result in a savings of more than $43,000 compared with the original bid. Included in the total cost of the latest proposal is a $12,500 allowance for any potential change orders.

According to the chief, the fire engine, which has a pump and a water tank, serves multiple tasks, including an equipment platform for hydraulic rescue tools, rope access gear and specialized equipment for technical rescue and hazardous materials.

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The vehicle is “essentially more nimble” than previous vehicles purchased in the past, according to Roepke.

“It’s a diversion from ... the type of vehicles that we’ve purchased in the past for a fire suppression vehicle. The community has changed, (and) the water supply is one of the best water supplies in the region. We just don’t need the pumper-tanker engine type like in the past,” he said of the vehicle, which has a 750-gallon tank compared with the larger 1,750- to 2,000-gallon tanks the village is more accustomed to.

Village Administrator Nathan Thiel said the rescue engine was in alignment with the fire study, which recommended replacement of two of the fire departments three engine tankers.

“Both the chief and I have had discussions looking to making sure that the equipment was reflective of needs, and I know that it’s significantly under budget from what we had originally proposed and brought forward in 2018,” Thiel said. “I just want to applaud the chief and his staff and the efforts made to take a look at the capital equipment.”

The fire study also recommended the replacement of a third Medtec/International ambulance.

“We’ve looked at replacing the 2010 (model) with essentially a carbon copy of what we have today,” Roepke said.

He called the newer 2020 Horton ambulance, built on a Ford F-550 chassis, “a much better ride, four-wheel drive” that use space more efficiently.

“It’s really what the industry standard is looking at for today and the future,” he said.

Another advantage with the Ford chassis is that the vehicle can be serviced at local dealerships.

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