The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 28, 2013

FEMA gives Joplin deal on fire engines

By Debby Woodin
Globe Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin will buy two fire engines provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after the 2011 tornado.

The fire chief estimates that the city will save about $400,000 by not having to buy new ones.

Fire Chief Mitch Randles said FEMA offered to let Joplin buy the two fire engines that the federal agency purchased as loaner trucks for the city to use after two of the city’s fire stations were destroyed by the tornado.

Randles said the city will pay $233,000 for the two engines, which cost a combined $614,000 new.

The engines are Pierce custom cab models. “They are a little bit smaller truck, but they still have a lot of the same specifications as ones we would normally purchase,” Randles said.

Both are 2010 models.

“They should last us 20 years,” Randles said. “We won’t need to replace them until 2031.”

The engines replace 1999 and 2003 models that were due to be retired in 2009 but were not because the city had been placed under a spending freeze as a result of the national economic downturn at the time.

“We’re getting the radio equipment and brackets out of those trucks, and they will be put up for bid by about mid-May,” the chief said. “We’re hoping to get around $100,000 for both. The 1999 is older and has some wear and tear on it. It is not worth as much as the 2003.”

The Joplin City Council has approved a request by Randles to purchase the FEMA-supplied trucks. He said that will make the department’s fleet of engines all 2010 models or newer. “We still have some older aerials that will come up for replacement and some rescue vehicles that will come up in the next few years as well,” he said.

The council also recently approved construction bids on the new fire stations to be built at 3402 Hearnes Blvd. and at 2825 W. Junge Blvd.

Randles said ground work has started at those two sites.

R.E. Smith Construction Co. submitted the low bids for both projects.

The city will pay $1.625 million for the station on Junge Boulevard near Schifferdecker Avenue. It will replace the station that had been located on Maiden Lane since 1981.

The contract for the fire station on Hearnes Boulevard is for $1.56 million. It will replace one that had been at 15th Street and Delaware Avenue. It was built in 1990.

The council approved a 5 percent contingency on both projects, if there is a need for extra costs.

Fire station designs

The Hearnes Boulevard fire station will be a two-story design, while the new station on Junge Boulevard will be a one-story design.