Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said the addition of seven new fire engines to the Lincoln Fire and Rescue fleet will signal the end of the City’s fire apparatus “crisis.”
Four of the seven new fire engines added to the LFR fleet. (Source: KOLN/Ryan Swanigan)
She joined Fire Chief Micheal Despain, LFR personnel and members of the public Thursday in welcoming the new apparatus. The event took place at the City’s first joint Fire-Police Station at 6601 Pine Lake Road, which opened in October. The new engines replace aging vehicles that have high mileage and need frequent repair.
“Public safety is our residents’ and my administration’s top priority,” Mayor Gaylor Baird said. “What these shiny new fire engines represent is one important way we are acting on that priority. We have made a major investment in protecting the public. Our public safety personnel have a very difficult job. It is critically important that we provide them with the equipment they need to safely and quickly respond to emergencies. The bottom line for our families and our businesses is that these new fire engines will empower our firefighters to save lives and property.”
Before being placed in service, LFR will install equipment from old apparatus. The first two vehicles are expected to be in service by December 25, and the remaining five are scheduled to be in service by the end of February. Chief Despain said the vehicles being replaced are too old for resale and will be sold for scrap metal.
Chief Despain thanked the Mayor and current and former City Council members for supporting the $3.5 million investment.
“This investment will move our fleet from about 40 percent healthy to about 85 percent healthy,” Chief Despain said. “We believe fire apparatus repair costs and downtime will be significantly reduced. The new engines will also provide better acceleration, reliability and access for crews, all factors that impact emergency response.” Chief Despain said the health of the fleet depends not just on age, but also on factors like operating costs, downtime, repair costs and the availability of parts.
“Getting to this point was a team effort,” Mayor Gaylor Baird said. “I’m grateful to all who played a role, particularly the City Council and our LFR team.” The Mayor also thanked the City Finance Department and LFR Chief of Logistics Kendall Warnock.