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City donating aged, used fire trucks
Ceres city seal

Two old fire engines which have outlived their usefulness in Ceres will be donated to the Modesto Junior College Regional Fire Training Center.

Two new engines recently delivered will replace the reserve fire engines which were only used when one of the primary fire engines was in for repair or service.

Ceres Fire Chief Kevin Wise said engines 216 and 217 are “well beyond the end of their useful lives” and that “the cost to keep these apparatuses in service and functioning is well beyond their usefulness to the City.”

Engine 216 is a 1996 Pierce Saber with 151,500 miles and 14,800 hours.

Engine 217 is a 1991 PierceArrow, with 148,000 miles and 15,600 hours.

Wise said that normally, fire engines are in front line service for 10 years, placed into reserve status for another decade and then disposed of because of their unreliability, high repair costs and scarcity of parts when needed.

“This apparatus has been pushed far beyond these parameters at 24 and 29 years, respectively.”

Ceres resident Gene Yeakley suggested the city selling the engines even if they generate several thousand dollars.

“It’s very difficult to get rid of (sell) a fire apparatus these days, especially with the CARB rules and different things that limit what a buyer could do with the actual engine out of the fire engine,” said Wise.

Wise suggested that while a sale would generate only a few thousands but said it could be better used at the fire academy which produces about 70 percent of firefighters to eventually get hired by Ceres Fire Department.

“So we would be giving back to the community and helping out our future firefighters.”

In past years the city of Ceres donated a fire engine still in use at Rachel, Nevada.

Councilman Mike Kline said high brokerage fees would take 25 percent of whatever it sold for. He said the two engines might yield $4,500 for the used engines.

“The county as a hole would benefit from it,” Kline said of the donation.