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Morris to buy combination fire truck

Morris Fire Chief Dave Dybdal said it would be the largest purchase of his time as fire chief.

The Morris City Council agreed on Sept. 12 to buy a combination fire pumper/rescue truck for $625,000 from E-One. The price will be reduced by a $125,000 trade-in for the department's 2007 Pierce pumper truck and the planned sale of the 1991 Ford heavy rescue truck and the 1985 IHC pumper truck with a total value of $25,000.

Although the final cost will be about $500,000 the combination vehicle will save the city and the department $500,000 in the long run, Dybdal said.

The city won't need to buy a separate pumper truck and separate rescue truck in the future because the new combination truck will provide both services, Dybdal said.

"It amazes me that you can get everything you need with one truck," council member Jeff Miller said. "If you can make it work, great."

Dybdal said the firefighters reviewed similar trucks made by E-One and found a model bought by the Chatfield Fire Department that it liked. The Morris truck will be built very much like the Chatfield truck, he said. It will be built over the next year and available in 2018.

The fire department developed more than 80 pages of specifications for the custom built fire truck, Dybdal said.

"I think we did a really nice job on the specifications," Dybdal said.

"There's a lot of history with this," city manager Blaine Hill said of the fire truck purchase. "I have been working with the fire department for a long time."

"This is a process that probably started four years ago," Dybdal said.

The combination fire truck will be purchased through the Houston-Galveston Area Council which is a national cooperative purchasing group, Hill said. The city can legally buy through this cooperative, Hill said.

The truck cost is part of the upcoming fiscal year's budget but the fire department and Hill requested the city make a purchase order in September to avoid an annual price increase in October. The truck won't be paid for until 2018. The city has several financing options that Hill said he'd present to the council next year.