Monarch Fire Protection District board of directors approved the purchase of a new ladder truck on Sept. 4 to replace an aged, existing one.
Fire Marshal Roger Herin said the price tag for the new vehicle is approximately $650,000. It is manufactured by E-ONE, and will feature a 78-foot ladder, a 450 horsepower engine and hoses capable of pumping 1,500 gallons of water per minute. It also has a 500 gallon tank onboard (for the "initial attack," Herin explained) along with space for firefighting and paramedic equipment and tools.
"It will be a lifesaving truck, as well," Herin said.
The decision to purchase the new truck was made due to increasing maintenance bills for the older vehicle.
"It was becoming a monthly thing," he said. "We had sunk so much money into that, we could see it was just becoming a money pit."
The district then formed a committee to compose a list of specifications and put out requests for bids. Of the several bids received, Herin said the E-ONE truck fit what the department needed the best.
The new truck is expected to arrive in early November and will replace a spray pumper brought in when the older ladder truck broke down. It brings the district up to a total of two ladder trucks, which Herin said will give the MFPD a tactical edge. It also provides a benefit to homeowners by lowering the department's ISO rating.
The new truck will be assigned to the MFPD station at Fernview Drive and Olive Boulevard, where its arrival already is highly anticipated by Monarch firefighters.
"It's kind of like when a family gets a new baby," Herin said.
Monarch's House No. 2, at 18424 Wildhorse Creek Rd., services Wildwood residents.