SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 28, 2013

Beverly to buy two firetrucks for $1 million

BY PAUL LEIGHTON
STAFF WRITER

---- — BEVERLY — The city is planning to spend $1 million to buy two new firetrucks.

Mayor Bill Scanlon told city councilors last week that the trucks are needed to serve as the “No. 1 responder” from the North Beverly and Beverly Farms fire stations.

In a letter to councilors, Scanlon said the new pumper trucks will allow the city to continue having “the best possible firefighting engines to help guarantee rapid, dependable response to incidents.”

The Fire Department currently uses trucks manufactured in 2002 and 2006 as its primary trucks in North Beverly and Beverly Farms. Those vehicles will become backups when the new trucks arrive.

The two current backup trucks, which date to 1985 and 1989, will be surplused, Scanlon said.

Fire Chief Paul Cotter said the backup trucks are pressed into service when the front-line trucks need repairs or are responding to fires in other communities through mutual aid.

“Our reserve pieces are just as important as our front-line pieces,” he said. “We’ve definitely gotten our money’s worth out of the ’85 and the ’89.”

The Fire Department has six trucks in all, one at each at of the city’s three stations and three reserve trucks. The department last bought a new truck in 2009.

The city would buy the trucks from Kovatch Mobile Equipment Corp. in Pennsylvania. The company provides vehicles that meet the specifications of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts through a procurement program sponsored by the Metropolitan Area Planning Committee, according to the city.

Kovatch has estimated the cost of the two firetrucks at $958,356. Scanlon is requesting that the City Council approve $1 million to cover other equipment costs involved in putting the trucks into service.

The city will order the trucks at the same time, but they will be delivered a year apart, in 2014 and 2015, so the city can take advantage of purchase discounts and also spread out its financing costs, Scanlon said.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on Feb. 4 to discuss the $1 million appropriation for the trucks.

The Fire Department is also buying a $350,000 truck for its dive rescue team with the help of a $262,500 grant from the Department of Homeland Security.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.