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Friday, December 8, 2023

Leesburg commissioners give go-ahead for purchase of new fire engine

Leesburg commissioners approved a resolution Monday night allowing the city’s fire department to purchase a new engine.

The resolution approves an agreement with Sanford-based Ten-8-Fire Equipment Inc. to purchase a new Pierce Saber Custom Fire Pumper Truck. Commissioners agreed to allow the fire department to spend up to $458,760, which includes a prepayment discount, for the firefighting apparatus.

This City of Clermont Fire Department Pierce Pumper Truck is similar to the new apparatus being purchased by the Leesburg Fire Department.

The new engine will replace an existing 2003 Typhoon Pumper manufactured by E-One, which is based in Ocala. That engine, which is 15 years old, has high mileage and high hours of operation on it, which has led to increased maintenance costs, a memo from Purchasing Manager Mike Thornton and Fire Chief David Johnson states.

The new engine, like most pumpers, is a critical piece of equipment that will carry large quantities of fire hoses and nozzles, the memo says. It will have a 750-gallon plastic water tank that can be used for quick responses until connections with fire hydrants can be established. And it comes with a 2,000-gallon-per-minute Hale pump.

Prior to selecting Ten-8-Fire Equipment’s proposal to provide the new pumper, the city received three sealed bids. Ten-8-Fire Equipment’s original bid was $472,111, followed by a $447,615 bid from South Florida Emergency Vehicles for a Sutphen engine and a $439,787 proposal for a Rosenbauer apparatus. The memo points out that price wasn’t the sole determining factor in the purchase and the other proposals had “deficiencies,” such as an undersized water pump and a small service facility.

The advance purchase of the truck, which could take up to 13½ months to build, is saving the city $18,744. The payment will be made to Ten-8-Fire Equipment when the order is submitted to the manufacturer, the memo says.

The Leesburg Fire Department isn’t the only local firefighting agency that’s in the process of purchasing new equipment. The Villages Fire Department received authorization last Wednesday from the Village Center Community Development District Board of Supervisors to move forward with the purchase of two 2019 E-One Typhoon Pumpers. The trucks cost $474,971 apiece and The Villages Fire Department is saving $42,746 by purchasing them before Sept. 1, when the price will increase by 4.5 percent due to new tariffs. The suggestion to move quickly on the purchases came from Villages Fire Chief Edmund Cain.

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