One of the Dothan Fire Department's most expensive pieces of equipment caught fire more than two weeks ago, putting the city and the fire department in a financial bind. So the department is now requesting emergency replacement funding as the best possible option.
Fire department officials have been trying to replace the 1974 ladder truck for quite some time. But every time the issue came up for discussion, the department was turned down, primarily because of city finances.
Now, not only does one truck need to be replaced, but another has to be repaired, putting the city in an even bigger bind for this year's budget. But this set-up cannot last long as public safety is the department's top priority.
Buying a brand new truck to replace the 1974 ladder truck will cost between $480,000 and $600,000. And depending on the extent of fire damage in the other truck, the city is expecting to add another $25,000 to $50,000 to that cost. Fire department officials say this is a necessary expense, and now is the time to do it.
Commissioners could move to approve the purchase as soon as next week. If the commission approves the item in next week's meeting, the Dothan Fire Department could have a new truck within the next few weeks, and the burned truck could be repaired in about a month.