Salem Lakes to refurbish former Silver Lake FD truck

The work to be done on the pumper. /from a Salem Lakes slide

The Salem Lakes Village Board approved the refurbishment of a 26-year-old pumper truck that Salem Lakes Fire/Rescue acquired when that department absorbed the former Silver Lake Fire Department.

Interim fire Chief Alan Carr said at a Jan. 22 Village Board meeting the move was the best way to start the department off on a program of updating and replacing its major apparatus.

The 1998 Pierce pumper will be refurbished by Reliant Fire Apparatus of Slinger.

The department has three pumper tankers that are about 10 years newer, but Carr said the 1998 truck was a better candidate for refurbishing. The newer trucks are larger and heavier, while the 1998 truck is on a smaller platform and a “better out-the-door attack apparatus,” he said. The 1998 truck also is in “great shape” as it was used less while it was part of the lower volume Silver Lake department.

The refurbishment of the 1998 truck is a part of a needed strategic capital improvement plan, Carr said.

“Our fleet is aging,” Carr said.

The VIllage Board approved having Reliant do the work for no more than $300,000 by a 6 to 1 vote. Trustee Bill Barhyte cast the no vote.

Work to be performed on the 1998 truck includes: New front bumper; chassis components cleaned, inspected and reconditioned as necessary; new cab front and rear seats, cab interior reconfigured; upgraded emergency warning equipment; pump reconditioned and re-certified. Perhaps the most noticeable change to the general public will be the truck’s new paint in red and black instead of its current white with blue.

The cost of the refurbishment of the 1998 truck will be a third of the cost of a new similar piece of equipment, Carr pointed out.

Barhyte said he felt the refurbishment meant it would be longer before the village could buy a new truck, though Carr and village administrator Cassandra Hiller disagreed.

“We’re not necessarily pushing a new truck down the road,” Hiller said. Instead the village can rehab this truck and start looking at how to buy another, and then look long-term at another truck.

Carr said “We are doing this in the best interest of the community … it’s not the optimum solution, but it’s a pretty decent one.”

To try to save some wear on the department’s pumper trucks, the department has moved to having ambulances accompanied on calls by additional personnel in smaller chase vehicles instead of one of the big trucks, which had been past practice, Carr said.

In voting in favor of the refurbishment, Trustee Dennis Faber did have one comment.

“I like white,” Faber said in reference to the 1998 truck’s pending new paint job.

A graphic showing what the 1998 pumper looks like now (above) and after its new paint job. /From a Salem Lakes slide
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