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Meridian Fire Department plans for new truck

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 5:13 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Money for a new Meridian fire truck was approved at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

The $720,000 will be used to purchase a new, custom truck for Central Fire Station.

“It includes financing and equipment. It will be the max. The truck is not necessarily going to cost $720,000,” Meridian Fire Chief Jason Collier said. “The next step will be to advertise through the financing. That will go through our finance and records department. They will submit a request to the next city council meeting.”

The current plan is for Engine 1 to replace Engine 4. Engine 4 would be used as a reserve truck. The Meridian Fire Department has a committee of drivers, captains and battalion chiefs that will determine how the truck should be built and what equipment is necessary.

“There are new options that are available now that haven’t been available before. There are some things that we can do to make it the way this crew wants it,”

Chief Collier said it’s important for the department to keep the trucks up-to-date due to insurance ratings by the Mississippi State Rating Bureau. The grade is given on a ten to one scale, with one being the best. Right now, Meridian’s rating is a four.

“They give you the most points for a firetruck that’s 20 years or less in age. Once it reaches 20 years in age. Once it reaches 20 years in age, you get a lot less points. Every department, including us, needs as many points as possible,” Collier said.

The new apparatus will be purchased through Sunbelt Fire in Fairhope, Ala. The manufacturer is E-One, which is the same company that built previous fire trucks owned by the city of Meridian.

Collier said the order should be placed within 30 days. Once that’s done, it will take the manufacturer up to 14 months to deliver the new truck.

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