Grosse Pointe Woods considers purchase of new firetruck

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published November 16, 2018

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — City officials in Grosse Pointe Woods are considering the purchase of a new firetruck.

At the city’s Committee of the Whole meeting Oct. 22, Public Safety Director John Kosanke presented information to the City Council about the need for a new ladder truck.

According to a memorandum dated Oct. 15 from Kosanke to City Administrator Bruce Smith, the city’s existing firefighting fleet includes a 1990 Sutphen aerial platform truck, which is used for rescue and large fire operations.

The need to maintain the aerial truck has increased in recent years because several new, multi-story structures have been constructed throughout the city, including Sunrise of Grosse Pointe Woods, the Van Elslander Cancer Center, Legacy Oaks Condominiums, the Rivers Grosse Pointe and the University Liggett Field House.

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 the memorandum, the National Fire Protection Agency recommends that frontline apparatuses remain in service no more than 25 years. The 1990 Sutphen aerial platform truck is currently 28 years old.

Kosanke assembled a committee whose job was to find the best ladder truck for the city in the most economic and practical manner. According to Kosanke, the committee researched 13 different firetruck manufacturers to find the most appropriate apparatus to replace the city’s current ladder truck.

Committee members arranged for site visits from four vendors to inspect their equipment. During the process, the committee drove and operated various vehicles. After their research was completed, it was recommended that the city purchase the E-One Metro 100 firetruck.

The firetruck 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 E-One Metro 100 costs approximately $996,000. In addition, the truck will need $75,000 in equipment; therefore, the total price will be about $1,076,000. 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.

According to the memorandum, the E-One does not require any funds up front and will guarantee the price of the truck with a purchase order and a signed contract. It will take approximately one year to build the new firetruck. Funds for the truck will be due at the time of delivery. Financing will not need to be set up until late next year, according to Kosanke.

While the recommendation for a new ladder truck has been brought to the City Council, council members will eventually have to vote on the purchase at a future City Council meeting to make it official. The matter will most likely be discussed at another Committee of the Whole meeting, and Grosse Pointe Woods Mayor Robert Novitke expects the council to vote sometime after the new year. One aspect of getting a new firetruck is determining how the city will pay for it.

“There’s a real need to get a new firetruck,” Novitke said. “We don’t like spending the money, but the need is there. We know it has to be done.”