2018-07-05 / News

SCAFD looks to replace aging tanker

810-452-2652 • lrocha@mihomepaper.com

SWARTZ CREEK and CLAYTON TOWNSHIP – The Swartz Creek Area Fire Department will need a new tanker soon, Fire Chief Dave Plumb says.

Plumb told the fire board that he and Assistant Chief Steve Tabit are looking for the most cost-effective way to replace the aging tanker #23.

The vehicle is a 1965 GMC surplus aircraft fueler that the department received from the DNR in 1987, according to information posted on the department’s website.

The 5,000-gallon tanker was retrofitted for fire department purposes. It was modified in 1991 when an International chassis replaced the GMC. Additional modifications were made in 1999, 2001 and 2004.

Keeping the tanker in service ensures a lower ISO rating, which translates to lower insurance rates for residents in the City of Swartz Creek and Clayton Township.

Plumb has asked the Department of Natural Resources to add the SCAFD to the list for surplus vehicles, but he said the process could take “an extensive amount of time.” … and once one becomes available, its condition will need to be looked at,” Plumb said.

Tabit has researched other options and found that the department could purchase a tanker for $340,000 to $400,000, the chief said.

“There would be very little equipment to purchase since this truck would come with what we need,” he said, “and what it does not (come with) can be pulled from the current tanker.”

Plumb also is looking into replacing the bottles for the firefighters’ self-contained breathing apparatus.

In 2008, the Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the SCAFD a $141,000 grant to purchase 26 complete units plus spare bottles for each unit.

The chief said the department might seek another grant. He’s also looking into trading in the old units and leasing to own.

He will meet with city and township officials to discuss financing options.

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