The new Mariemont Firetruck

The new fire truck is a firefighter’s dream. This type of fire truck is called a ‘quint’ reflecting four capabilities that include an aerial ladder, pumping capabilities, a tank for water and storage of ground ladders and tools.

The span of the aerial ladder is 107 feet with a 750 pound tip load that easily accommodates the weight of both the firefighters and rescued victims. The truck has a 400 gallon water tank and can pump 1500 gallons of water per minute.

The vehicle accommodates six firefighters and a 1000 foot large diameter supply hose and many smaller hoses. Its state of the art toolbox includes the extricating ‘jaws of life’ that can cut through metal and other barriers to remove trapped accident victims.

Notably, Mariemont’s old fire truck was sold for $8,000 and the purchaser refurbished it for $2,500 and it was placed back into service. I wonder why another community could repair the truck and use it when Mariemont could not?

Thus it begs the question, did Mariemont really need a $750,000 fire truck that ate into the reserves of the Permanent Improvement Fund (one final installment of about $250,000 due this year) as opposed to a standard fire truck? It is also noteworthy that there are two fire departments with ladder trucks within a radius of 3.2 miles and most structures within the Village of Mariemont are just two stories tall. Those that are over two stories have sprinkler systems that meet code.

I know it is comforting to have a fire department with a superior ISO rating of 2, but is this really necessary, and when did we last have a significant fire? Most insurance companies do not base their rates on ISO ratings. Moreover,  Terrace Park residents feel quite safe with an all volunteer fire department (24 volunteers) that annually costs between $130,000 and $150,000 per year to maintain versus Mariemont’s cost of $821,187 in 2013 (exclusive of the $254,000 installment for the fire truck).

– Dick Wendel, MD, MBA

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