By Trevor Busch
The Town of Taber has moved to purchase a new 110 foot ladder truck for the Taber Fire Department for just under $1.2 million.
“We spent a lot of time on this, and made a couple of trips down south,” said Coun. Jack Brewin, speaking prior to the vote at council’s Sept. 25 regular meeting. “We saw a lot of trucks, and we saw a lot of aspects, different uses. I was very impressed by this. I realize it’s more money than we initially planned on, but we’re getting quite a bit better truck, a bigger truck that meets all our standards. And people must remember this truck is going to last us for 25 years.”
Passed under the 2018 capital budget, town council had originally approved the allocation of funds for the purchase of a smaller 75′ ladder truck for the fire department, at an estimated cost of $900,000.
“With that additional reach of 35 feet, it’s going to serve our expanding businesses, putting them over the roofs for fighting fires,” continued Brewin. “I know it’s a lot of money, but I think it’s well worth it to spend this kind of money to look at the best options for us.”
The purchase was evaluated by the department’s specification committee, made up of seven members including Coun. Randy Sparks, Coun. Jack Brewin, fire chief Steve Munshaw, the deputy chief, one captain, one lieutenant, and one firefighter.
“When you look at this, it looks like such an incredible price to pay for a fire truck,” said Sparks. “But that’s the going rate for fire trucks, unfortunately, in today’s world. Even in Taber here, the developers are trying to make wise utilization of their developments, so they’re building up instead of out. So this will be very important in the future.”
Fire chief Steve Munshaw indicated there are many buildings in the community that require the deployment of a ladder truck.
“The ratings identified by the Fire Insurance Underwriters, they identify any buildings that are over 35 feet in height, and 10,000 square feet in floor space. Once you have five of those buildings in your community, you should be looking at elevated water stream, or elevated support. We currently have 186 of those buildings in this community, and we still have not had that requirement yet. Do we need it? Yes.”
Munshaw went on to confirm that the ladder truck would fit inside the existing hall, and that to a large degree it will be able to be serviced in Taber.
“This also makes it more attractive for businesses to come to Taber, knowing that we have the capability to fire a large structure fire,” said Brewin. “So the pluses on this truck are quite high.”
Following discussion, town council voted unanimously to award the purchase of a platform fire truck to Commercial Truck Equipment Co. with the amount not to exceed $1,199,147.47, exclusive of GST; and supports transferring an additional $300,000 from capital reserves to offset the already budgeted $900,000.