On the last Wednesday of June, temperatures soared, dryness made for tinder-like conditions, and fireworks sales began in Grand Island.
That same day, the Grand Island Fire Department found itself with three of its five usual front-line fire engines out of service.
GIFD Interim Fire Chief Russ Blackburn: "The front line engine here at Station One, it was down with a pump transmission problem, had been for about a month. But then our two reserve engines developed mechanical problems back to back very shortly there, and on that Wednesday night, we actually had Station Three without a "Class A" pumper."
Fire officials say that funds for a new fire engine had already been budgeted, but that the purchasing process was held up, in part, to give consideration to the suggestions made in Grand Island's Public Safety Study, delivered in April of this year.
Russ Blackburn: "I talked to the Mayor that next Thursday morning, and told him what the situation was, and what we were going through. The Mayor allowed us to move ahead with those purchases immediately."
The broken fire engines are now fixed - putting Grand Island fire stations back at full firefighting capacity since Friday of last week.
But, fire officials say it's time for new equipment. One of the fire engines that failed has already been on the job for a quarter of a century.
After decades of duty saving lives, Grand Island's old fire engines are put into back-up service, or simply sent to auction.
The new fire engine is budgeted at $550,000 for a multi-function truck that may offer taxpayers value for the price.
GIFD Operations Division Chief Tim Hiemer: "This new engine is actually going to replace two separate vehicles. We're going to combine a traditional fire truck/fire engine with the rescue truck."
The City of Grand Island is also expediting purchase of a new $135,000 ambulance.