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New fire truck for 2026 has to be ordered now, says chief

Rising costs, slower build times prompted the fire department to request truck purchase three years ahead of schedule
2018-07-27 Elvis JO-014
A ladder truck the Collingwood Fire Department had on display at Hurontario and Second Streets during the 2018 Collingwood Elvis Festival. Jessica Owen/CollingwoodToday

Collingwood’s fire chief and deputy chief have had to put in a request to council two years earlier than they planned for a new aerial (ladder) truck for the department. 

Chief Dan Thurman and Deputy Chief Stephen Emo explained during council’s committee of the whole meeting on June 5 that the production time for a new truck is now about three to four years. 

While the department’s asset plan doesn’t anticipate requiring a new ladder truck until 2025, the chief said they need to order it now if they want to get it in time. 

“Before COVID, it took about nine to 12 months for a new build pumper or aerial, last year it was two years, now it’s three to four years before we can get it,” said Thurman. “The cost is going up three to six per cent per quarter … so we’re kind of in a dilemma here.” 

The purpose of his and Emo’s presentation to council was to ask for advance budget approval for the purchase, which is estimated at about $2.25 million right now. 

The town’s lifecycle replacement reserve fund would cover most of the cost, and currently has a balance of $6.2 million. The truck is also eligible, in part, as a development charges project, so about 29 per cent of the cost (approximately $650,000) could be covered by development charges collected by the town. 

Though the financing rules vary for newly built trucks, Thurman’s staff report stated the manufacturers typically require 10 per cent down payment and the balance due when the truck is delivered. 

The fire department has also considered the changes to Collingwood’s buildings and would be ordering a truck with a 125-foot ladder, which would allow firefighters access up to 12- or 13-storey buildings. Currently, the department has a 95-foot ladder truck, which gives them access to up to nine-storey buildings. 

The committee supported the fire department’s request, but it will have to go through one more vote at a full council meeting later this month before it is considered approved. 

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 15 years of experience as a local journalist
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