By: Bridget O’Shea | firstname.lastname@example.org | @OSheaBridget
Continuing to expand its fleet, Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District trustees budgeted $425,000 last week for the purchase of a new fire engine.
Earlier in January, the board approved the purchase of two Ford F-150 pickup trucks for equipment transportation and two Ford Expedition to be used as shift command vehicles.
Fire district officials said the vehicles will improve firefightersâ€™ ability to protect residents as it operates independent of the village of Barringtonâ€™s Fire Department. The long-term fleet expansion plan does not call for increased taxes, district officials said.
The fire engine is scheduled for delivery in the fall.
â€œThe new fire engine will hold 1,250 gallons of water and be able to carry larger diameter hoses for fire suppression activities,â€ District Fire Chief Jeff Swanson said. â€œIn addition, the vehicleâ€™s raised cab roof will provide more room for BCFPD firefighters and paramedics and their equipment, and improve their safety.â€
The new engine is being built by Florida-based E-One, a worldwide manufacturer of emergency vehicles. The engine will replace an older pumper that will remain in service as a reserve engine.
In total, the new vehicles were budgeted to cost no more than $546,275. District officials said they were able to save taxpayers nearly $30,000 on the purchases by using state purchase pricing.
â€œLong before the BCFPD began independent operations, the board realized that we would need to upgrade our vehicles to meet the needs of our district,â€ District President Tom Rowan said. â€œWe committed ourselves to make those improvements without raising taxes on residents.â€
In 2012, the district retired more than $1 million in long-term bond obligations which had been originally raised to fund the purchase of the districtâ€™s Lake Barrington fire station, officials said. The move saved about $661,000 in interest payments that would have been due over the next 20 years, according to the district.