The City of Steinbach is hoping to replace Steinbach Fire Department’s ladder truck, and it's estimated to cost $2,000,000 to do so.
The existing ladder truck in Steinbach has been in use for many years. The original unit, when it was purchased, was purchased as a used unit, and is now nearing the end of its useful life.
Councillor Damian Penner says that the cost is worth having the new ladder truck, as it will be used for many years to come.
“Our protective services are something that we as a city always need to make sure that we are investing into,” he says. “Our fire chief has given us a long-term strategy for replacement of our fire trucks in terms of affordability with repair, as well as replacement. And this falls into that long-term plan of reinvesting into the new ladder truck.”
Councillor Jake Hiebert adds that having proper safety equipment should be a priority for our city.
“Having a lengthy background in public safety, it's always been a priority for me that our first responders are properly trained and that they have proper equipment.”
Fire Chief Kel Toews says they purchased the truck back in 2009 as a 1990 truck.
“It's 33 years old already, so it's on its last leg.”
He says it’s starting to cost a lot to do repairs, and it's been out of service quite a bit this year due to needing repairs.
It's also become quite difficult to obtain the parts when they need parts replaced.
“So we definitely need a replacement, and I'm glad to see that the Council is moving forward on it.”
It's out of service right now, but when it's in service, the ladder truck gets used often.
“We'll roll it to any structure fire, even a house fire. It's a much safer platform to work off of if you're doing roof work, rather than actually walking on the roof,” he says. “So it does get a fair amount of use throughout the year.”
Mayor Earl Funk says as equipment ages and wears out, we need to replace it.
“We bought a used ladder truck and it served us well. It helped put out many different fires,” he says. “I think it's important that we keep our emergency services in good shape. Having well-trained staff is very good, but it's also very important to have good equipment we rely on.”
If approved, the city would borrow $2,000,000. As a result, for a residential property valued at $250,000, it works out to an extra $46 in property taxes annually for five years.
with files from Shannon Dueck