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WFFD hoping City Council will approve $9.9 million for new trucks

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 8:16 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Wichita Falls Fire Department has asked Wichita Falls City Council members for $9.9 million to purchase 13 new fire engines.

“We have a third that either based on the manufacturer the condition of the apparatus has exceeded it’s intended life. Some of those were a purchase that we made because we believe we might get 20 or 24 years out of, and we just simply have not,” said Chief Ken Prillaman, the Wichita Falls Fire Department.

Prillaman also said some of the engines have spent weeks in the shop receiving repairs because of mechanical issues. However, it’s not just the trucks themselves that could stand to be replaced if that $9.9 million is approved.

“There are other things on that apparatus that has an intended life span. All of our hoses are over 10 years old and while it may perform well for another month, or a year, or three years, it might also fail this afternoon,” said Prillaman.

Those breakdowns and daily wear and tear really impact those that need the vehicles the most.

“If we’re consistently having breakdowns and if we have delayed responses then it only hurts the citizens. We wanna do the best job we can and we need to get equipment that allows us to do that,” said Josh Bery, fire equipment operator with the Wichita Falls Fire Department.

The department said they plan to use newer truck as reserve vehicles, after replacing the entire fleet.

“Part of the fleet has gotten to an age where maintenance costs has gotten too big and another part of was from a manufacturer that we just can’t get the parts, and support that we need,” said Prillaman.

“We have some units that may be low mileage but they’re very high in hours, so it may look like a newer truck but it may have a lot of usage behind it,” said Bery.

The Wichita Falls City Council is planning to make a decision to approve that $9.9 million for a new fleet by their next meeting in November.

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