Fire Department requests new engine and equipment
Looks like Old Faithful might have some company in the retired fire truck community. In addition to a 3 percent increase in its operating budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the Fire Department is also requesting a new fire engine to replace Engine 1, which has reached the end of its lifespan from 1996.
In terms of priority, the Jaws of Life are listed as the department's most critical need with a price tag of $97,000. The problem with the current apparatus is that it could not perform adequately on modern vehicles Hennessey said. Still, the most costly replacement is the $610,000 needed to put Engine 1 into the reserves.
"We did apply for a federal grant for a new pumper," Hennessey said. "But we recently received word that we were denied the funding."
Normally, getting another truck would not be so difficult, Hennessey said, but due to the unique and limited space issues of the firehouse, a customized engine would need to be ordered.
"Have you possibly considered getting something from other towns?" Selectman Rob Mallozzi asked.
"Unfortunately it is very hard to find trucks used that would fit through the door," Hennessey replied.
The industry standards to replacing attack engines like engine is when they reach the 15 year mark. Today, both of New Canaan's current attack engines are 15 and 12 years old.
Another interesting capital request was a firehouse planning study. Hennessey explained in his presentation a study of the current facility would be the best way to "remedy the current function issues." He indicated that it could go hand in hand with the Long Range Planning Committee's efforts. They requested $40,000 to conduct the study.
Still, Hennessey indicated that the major equipment issues including the Jaws of Life, a new fire engine and a new regional mobile data terminal (MDT) system.
The new terminal system is estimated to cost around $74,400 and "will improve operations in many ways."
"Every other department has had [the MDT] for years," Hennessey said.
He explained that with the MDT system they will be able to network with other towns like Wilton, Westport, Norwalk, Stamford and Darien. The system will provide fast and accurate mapping of the town and the region with key information such as water sources and building hazards. It also increases cooperation with other towns.
"This is a great example of how towns can work together and manage funds and be more responsive," First Selectman Jeb Walker said.