|Updated: 2/04 9:51 pm
||Published: 2/04 9:48 pm
The Little Rock Fire Department says it needs new equipment but the gear needed isn’t cheap. Some of the department’s ladder trucks and engines are in need of repair and the cost to get a brand new ladder truck costs between $500,000 and $1 million.
The Little Rock Board of Directors will vote Tuesday night to allocate the funds to the Fire Department for repairs and parts. The department says after nearly 20 years, some trucks are in desperate need of repair.
Fire Station 17 has an old engine that’s a 1987 model. Cpt. Art Preller says better equipment will help response times and help citizens safe.
The City of Little Rock has not had the funds for repairs to equipment for the Little Rock Fire Department until the recent sales tax increase. City Director Ken Richardson says now there’s money to fix and replace parts. "In order for us to protect our fire rate and protect the citizens in our community, we have to have funds available to not just buy new front line equipment, but have funds to replace, enhance, and renovate reserve equipment."
The Little Rock Board of Directors will vote Tuesday whether or not to give the Fire Department $250,000 to refurbish an aerial ladder truck. Cpt. Preller says the apparatus they have now is good, but could be better. “We need to keep up to date and that's where we've fallen behind."
The city is growing and the fire department needs to be able to meet the needs. The fire department says $4-5 million is what is really needed to upgrade gear. That is something Richardson says, the Little Rock Board of Directors will have to consider later down the road.
"I think it's important for us to be mindful of what we said we'd use the money for, and not stray too far away.”
The Little Rock Fire Department also plans to order new pump engines. No word yet how long it will take once they get the money to start making those repairs in the trucks and engines.