EFD seeking station repairs, new, upgraded equipment next year

EFD seeking station repairs, new, upgraded equipment next year

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Multiple fire stations are likely to get repairs in the upcoming year because of aging infrastructures.

Evansville Fire Department Chief Mike Connelly estimates the total cost will fall around $200,000. But the station repairs aren’t the only improvements.

At the end of next month, the EFD expects to be getting a new engine. If approved, they could also order a new ladder truck.

There is a financial value to moving more quickly.

“It’s noteworthy to say the price increase goes into effect February 1, 2020, which means a 3-7 percent increase on a million dollar ladder truck,” Chief Connelly explains.

One area of concern is dealing with aged buildings. Multiple stations, including No. 15, No. 2 and No. 5 are needing roof repairs.

Station No. 15, No. 4 and No. 6 are dealing with plumbing issues. Over at stations No. 2, No. 5 and No. 9 it’s an issue with the HVAC.

“So quite a laundry list of practically maintenance issues,” states Chief Connelly.

Department leaders are also looking at possible energy saving options.

“Door switches for apparatus bay heaters; when the door goes open in the winter time it turns off the heater,” Chief Connelly explains.

Hoses, nozzles, ladders along with more than 100 new airpacks, the breathing apparatus firefighters wear, are included. Plus there is room allocated for new radios to replace obsolete ones.

“There were some radios that were left over from the Nextel rebanding back in 2007 that the vendor assured us would be upgrade-able, meaning they could put new programs in an old radio and make it work," says Chief Connelly. "We had some of those radios fail. Now the manufacturer does not produce those radios any longer.”

Expected travel expenses for the department appeared to be up. The chief says there’s a constant need for continued education and training for many divisions including fire marshals, investigators and leadership classes.

The Evansville Fire Department is fully staffed.

Connelly does not anticipate any retirements between now and the end of the year. However, about 10 are expected in early 2020.

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