Ted McDermott, Darlington Fire Chief, gave a presentation at the Darlington City Council meeting on Nov. 20. on the subject of purchasing new fire engines.
McDermott explained that currently the Darlington Fire Department has two main engines: one from 1990 and one from 1991. The age of the two main engines will be reaching the 25-year mark in a few years, at which point the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) codes and standards suggest that they be replaced.
McDermott said that the ideal replacement plan would be to first replace the current 1990 truck with a new one that could be delivered in 2014, at which point payments would start. Then if it would be possible, to replace the current 1991 truck sometime in 2016.
McDermott estimated that the current cost of the new fire apparatus would be approximately $415,000. McDermott also mentioned that 2013 would bring about the final payments for the firehouse and the ladder truck. He pointed out that by the time the new fire apparatus would be delivered, the city would no longer have to make payments towards the firehouse and ladder truck and could instead focus funds on paying the bill for a new fire apparatus if one is purchased.
After McDermott’s presentation, the board pointed out that with the final payments on the firehouse and ladder truck approaching, people were expecting relief from those bills, which will not be a possibility if a new fire apparatus is purchased.