BEND, OR -- The Bend Fire Department is replacing its most commonly used fire trucks, this fall. Deputy Chief of Fire Operations Bob Madden conducted their final inspection earlier this week at the factory in South Dakota. "We have six new fire engines coming. We’ll be getting two a week over a three-week period. And, we’ll be doing our in-service training and anticipate to have our first ones actually in service, responding to calls, probably by late November."
The city originally hoped to replace the units several years ago, but the plan was delayed due to the economy. Madden tells KBND, "We didn’t get a lot of new equipment; they’ll pull in next to our old ones, we’ll take all of the stuff off of those and put them onto those. But, our higher technology equipment, I think is in the EMS equipment – our 12-lead EKG machines and things like that – that’s where probably the largest dollar amount is going into, is in that medical equipment."
The current fleet of Structural engines is over 20 years old. "We did that replacement in 1994. They served us well, but they’re beyond their service age now and, of course, our maintenance costs are going up. So we’ve got this new fleet that we purchased with great help from the city and rural fire district to be able to fund this," Madden says. He expects two engines will come to Bend each week over a three-week period next month, and should also last about 20 years. He says other vehicles - ladder trucks, wildland fire units and quick response vehicles - are all still within their expected service life.