Grosse Pointe Woods City Council approves new firetruck purchase

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 8, 2019

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — By this time next year — and as long as everything remains on schedule — the Grosse Pointe Woods Department of Public Safety will have a new ladder firetruck.

At a special City Council meeting Dec. 26, the council voted 5-0 to approve a purchase agreement for a new E-One Metro 100 firetruck. Council members Arthur Bryant and Michael Koester were absent.

The new E-One Metro 100 features a 100-foot ladder, a 2,000-gallon-per-minute pump, a 500-gallon water tank, an aluminum body and an 11-foot spread on the outrigger stability system.

The purchase agreement is between West Shore Fire Inc., based in Allendale, Michigan, known as the “company” in the agreement, and the city of Grosse Pointe Woods, known as the “buyer.”

Under the purchase agreement, the company agrees to sell, and the buyer agrees to purchase the fire apparatus manufactured by E-One Inc. of Ocala, Florida, and related equipment described in the company’s proposal, page specifications and firetruck schematics.

The E-One Metro 100 costs approximately $996,000, and $75,000 in equipment brings the total to $1,071,000. An extra $5,000 for price increases on equipment has been set aside over the course of the truck’s life. The E-One Metro 100 will fit into the department’s fire bay, and the firetruck also has the ability to maneuver through the city’s cul-de-sacs and fit into most narrow areas of the city. The new truck will be painted in the style known as “white over red.”

“It had to be done before the end of 2018 to ensure we would not have any price increases,” Grosse Pointe Woods Mayor Robert Novitke said. “In a year, we should have a new firetruck. We’re really looking forward to this. I think we are all excited about it. It’s much needed.”

The new truck will replace the city’s current 1990 Sutphen aerial platform truck, which  is 29 years old. While the current apparatus still performs the functions required during rescue or firefighting operations, the advanced age of the truck has created the need to replace the vehicle. According to a memorandum, the National Fire Protection Agency recommends that frontline apparatuses remain in service no more than 25 years.

The department currently has three trucks, and with the new purchase will go down to two trucks, the new E-One Metro 100 and the pumper. A second pumper will not be replaced and will either be traded in or sold.

“The (new) ladder truck is going to replace our aerial. When our new truck is here, our current (aerial) will be sold then,” Kosanke said. “I think it’s going to serve the community really well. It’s pretty exciting to see the different technologies and the different capabilities in the new vehicles.”

When Kosanke began with the department as a public safety officer in 1990, the current aerial was new at the time.

“We had just purchased the aerial,” Kosanke said.

The public safety officers will undergo training to learn how to operate the new truck.

City officials said the city does not have to pay for the truck upfront. City officials plan to use money from the city’s motor vehicle fund to pay for half of the cost of the new firetruck and then finance the remaining funds when payment is due and the truck is delivered.

“There is a lot of flexibility to pay for it,” Grosse Pointe Woods Department of Public Safety Director John Kosanke said.

It takes about 12 months to build a firetruck, according to city officials.

“There is a lot of innovation in these new trucks,” Kosanke said. “There’s a lot of technology that is built into this truck. They’re building the trucks with safety in mind and a lot of technology in mind.”

One such aspect with the new truck is a camera at the tip of the ladder that will be able to monitor fires and other situations, such as a person on top of a school or building.

“Rather than put a firefighter up right away, we can put the camera up,” Kosanke said. “Whoever is engineering the truck will see what’s going on.”

Another feature is a vehicle data recorder, similar to a black box, which can record the vehicle’s speed, engine throttle, acceleration, seat belt occupancy and more.

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