JFRD adding 8 new firetrucks to fleet

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Fire-Rescue will soon add eight new firetrucks to its fleet. Each will go to a station with the oldest trucks.

The department has 53 front-line fire engines and 20 spare engines.

The last time Jacksonville Fire Rescue bought trucks was between 2004-2008.

"That is a lot of wear and tear, especially when you think every time they go on a run, the pedal is all the way down, you come up on cars, you have to hit the brake very hard," said Division Chief of Operations Kurtis Wilson.

DOCUMENT: Firetrucks diagrams

The trucks need repairs, but because the company that made them shut down, they have to go to a third party, which becomes costly.

"The company that manufactured that went out of business, and so we came forward and we are coming to a crisis point," Wilson said. "It's hard for us to get parts, and in last year's budget they approved us eight brand-new engines."

The department also hopes this year it will be approved for even more new trucks.

"We want to get all of those out of our fleet," Wilson said. "We can't get parts for them. We've had to cannibalize old engines just to keep other ones running. So this year's proposed budget will be a good thing."

The new trucks cost $427,000 each. In 2008, they were $483,000.

The eight trucks are going to different stations -- Nos. 4,16, 22, 24, 28, 31, 58 and 62.

They're designed to maneuver better and be more comfortable for the firefighters.

"You start to feel like you're in confined space and you get squeezed in," Wilson said. "If you've ever sat in the front of one, you can tell. You put all that bunker gear on, it's a lesson in confined space."

The new trucks will be delivered in the beginning of September.

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