During the Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, City Commission meeting, city commissioners approved the purchase of a new pumper fire engine for the West Fargo Fire Department. A pumper fire engine carries hoses, tools and a water tank to pump water on scene of fires. The new vehicle will replace a pumper purchased in 2008.
Fifty percent of the pumper vehicle cost, along with 50 percent of a heavy rescue truck cost that was approved for purchase in October 2020, is receiving funding through a North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality grant. The grant money is a result of a settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Volkswagen over the company’s misrepresentation of diesel emissions for their products.
“The benefit of receiving this grant to support the purchase of two vehicles is that it helps reduce the department’s budgetary needs in the future,” said Dan Fuller, West Fargo Fire Department Chief. “It will also help the department follow the National Fire Protection Association recommendations to replace equipment with a life span of 10 years of service and 5 years of service in reserve.”
This life span recommendation helps reduce cancer in the fire service by replacing vehicles with those that have interior surface materials that can be decontaminated of carcinogens.
The goal of the grant is to replace older diesel vehicles with new, cleaner diesel vehicles. The grant requires the engine blocks of the old vehicles be drilled with a 3-inch hole and the frame rails cut. Once both apparatuses are scrapped and the equipment is received, the grant money will be deposited back into the sales tax fund for other city capital improvements. The new vehicles are expected to arrive in 2022.