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City going for grant to buy quint fire truck

Ceres city officials hope that a $975,000 grant application is awarded which would allow a new Quint fire engine to be placed into service to replace one that is 14 years old.

The City Council last week approved the seeking of the Assistance to Firefighters grant from the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The application is due Nov. 18.

According to Ceres Fire Chief Bryan Nicholes, a Quint is a quadruple combination pumper that can serve as an engine and ladder truck. It provides water, a pump, fire hose, ground ladders and aerial device. While regular engines carry only 24-feet ladders, the Quint can reach 103 to 109 feet and has the ability to reach the tops of tall buildings like Ceres Christian Terrace, the county Social Services Building and the county Jail.

The city's current Quint was built in 2002 and the National Fire Protection Association recommends that they be in serve for no more than 15 years.

"Also, resource sharing/boundary dropping have increased the usage and, proportionately, the wear and tear of our current Quint, resulting in an increase in maintenance and repair costs," said Nicholes.

Engine 21 is a 2006 and Engine 22 is a 2003 model Engine 24 is a 2007. Engine 32, taken over from the merger with Industrial Fire Department, is 24 years old.

Because a Quint and replacing two fire engines would cost $2.5 million, Nicholes came up with a plan to do the following:

• Take the $975,000 grant to use toward a new Quint;

• Sell off the current Quint and use that money, approximately $300,000, to seed a new engine.

"From our perspective, that is the best use of the grant," Nicholes told the council.

The city would need to come up with 10 percent in matching funds, or $97,500. The city may be able to apply for a hardship exemption if unable to come up with the cash.

"We would not know if we got this (grant) until at least April of 2017."

Because it takes 367 days from day or order to delivery, Nicholes wants to get the specs lined out in case the grant is awarded.