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VFD considering $650,000 fire truck

Vicksburg Firefighters test the E-One 95 Platform fire engine. The snorkel at right has been used since 1964.(The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[9/25/01]Statewide, insurance companies independently determine if the bureau’s evaluations will play a factor in the raising or lowering the cost for policies.

Westbrook said the bidding for a new truck to replace a 37-year-old snorkel may begin by Oct. 1, and that is just in time. The next scheduled evaluation by the bureau is in 2003 and it usually takes a successful bidder about 250 days to build and deliver a new truck.

“The age factor is against us,” Westbrook said about the snorkel, “but the time is right.”

The fire department now has two aerial trucks. There is a snorkel truck with a 65-foot lift at Fire Station Number 8 on Halls Ferry Road and the Ladder 14 truck with a 135-foot ladder at Central Fire Station.

Carr said the bureau also recommended that the older snorkel be put on reserve because of its age. On reserve, it would not normally be dispatched and would not count against the city in its evaluation.

Vicksburg Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Gettinger said the E-One would give firefighters added advantages, including a longer aerial lift and a platform that allows fire firefighters to climb directly up to the lift.

“It’s also more versatile and can move a lot of people up or down,” Gettinger said.

“If we combine those two (Ladder 14 and a new aerial truck) we shouldn’t need an aerial for probably the next 25 years,” Westbrook said.

Other advantages include the increased water output per minute to 2,000 gallons a minute from 1,500, an air-conditioned cab and an aluminum platform to prevent rusting.

Other nearby cities using the E-One fire engines include Natchez, Jackson, Clinton and Greenville.