Boone County Fire District receiving 10 new fire trucks

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BOONE COUNTY - Local firefighters will soon be driving new vehicles to respond to emergencies.

The Boone County Fire Protection District board approved a proposal Wednesday night to buy 10 new fire trucks for $4,161,356. 

Captain Josh Creamer said the trucks will be paid for using the funds from the $14 million bond issue approved by voters last April. Almost three-quarters of voters were in favor of the bond, which is helping with the replacement of old equipment and a new station.

Creamer said that a typical fire truck's lifespan is 12 years, but the vehicles being replaced are all more than 20 years old. 

"Some of the new characteristics of the trucks we're looking at incorporated a slew of new safety features that weren't available in the trucks that we're replacing that are roughly 20 to 30 years old," Creamer said. "

The new engines will feature 24-inch bumpers to be able to withstand stronger collisions. 

"They're a little bit more robust than on previous versions and previous trucks," Creamer said. "One of the benefits to the fire district and to the firefighters themselves is that these trucks are often used as blocking apparatus on the sides of roads for vehicle accidents on I-70 or highway 63, and this will provide us a little bit of a safety factor."

Also, the fire hoses will be lowered so they are easier to handle. 

Creamer said the change allows crews to fight fires more effectively, and the new trucks will allow them to use the water more effectively so it will last longer. 

While the new safety and technological improvements are great, Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp said reliability is very important. 

"When you're talking 25-year-old trucks there's a maintenance cost that goes up with those," he said. 

The other roughly $7 million dollars of bonds will go toward a new fire station near the intersection of Route B and Route HH. 

One engine and one tanker will be arriving before the end of this year. The Boone County Fire District will then decide if it wants to make any changes before the rest of the trucks come in.