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New $1 million fire truck needed by MCFD


This news story was published on January 29, 2012.
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by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – The Mason City Fire Department needs a new 105 foot fire engine.

The cost would be roughly $1 million. The Mason City Council held a budget hearing last Tuesday and this was a major topic.

Click here to view photos of the current 105 foot engine, which would become a backup to the new engine.

It was an option to pay half in this year’s (2013) budget and the other half in the 2014 budget, and that seemed to be most acceptable to the council members, who all agreed that public safety was a top priority.

“I think it’s necessary,” said Councilman John Lee of going ahead with the purchase.

“I’m finally to the point where I agree it’s a priority,” Councilman Scott Tornquist said. “How we work it into the budget, I guess I’d look for a recommendation from staff. I’m more interested in the bottom line. The recovery hasn’t come full circle back to Mason City yet.”  He mentioned many Mason City residents are on fixed incomes.

Fire Chief Bob Platts explained the need in more detail to NorthIowaToday.com.

“We are asking to purchase a second aerial unit in addition to our current 2321 or Truck 1,” Platts said. “Our current aerial was built in 1997 by Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, WI. There are a number of Manufacturers of Fire Equipment in the US. For ISO reasons we should maintain 1 reserve piece of apparatus for every unit required for response. Our first due assignment is 2 Engines and 1 Aerial. So we should have those pieces of equipment in reserve.”

The Council will discuss this expenditure and others this coming week at its next budget hearing, scheduled for Tuesday evening at City Hall.

Watch video of council discussion of fire truck expenditure:


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23 Responses to New $1 million fire truck needed by MCFD

  1. Bob Saget Reply Report comment

    August 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I say yes! We sure need a new fire truck a current model possibly a model year newer!

  2. James Boothroyd Reply Report comment

    March 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    A milliom dollars for a truck? and our taxes keep going up, soon i,ll be forced to move to a smaller town after i sell my home here in mason city

    • James is a know it all... Reply Report comment

      March 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      Because you know how much a fire engine costs?

      You can’t just go to your local ford dealership and buy one. These things are custom made for the needs of the city and fire department.

  3. Bob Reply Report comment

    January 30, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Does the fire dept purchase medications from different area pharmacies and support them as well or do they purchase meds from just one pharmacy? Is it a bidding process or how does it work? Is Crooked right? And if so how can a smaller local pharmacy offer the cheapest price? Just in relation to volume of sale you would not think they could.

    • Crooked Reply Report comment

      January 30, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      I asked this question before to both the Globe and NIT with no response. I have heard from reliable source that no, they purchase their medications from CL Pharmacy. If true, not only do we taxpayers fund this we also pay for the fuel in the cars that Chief Platts drives over to CL to get the medications.

  4. young tax payer Reply Report comment

    January 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Maybe they could bring our own bottled water to the council meetings. And cut out the meat and cheese tray and save some money!!

  5. BS Reply Report comment

    January 30, 2012 at 9:50 am

    What a bunch of crooks!!

  6. Larry Reply Report comment

    January 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

    How many buildings are there in the city that require a truck this big and expensive. We already have one and if it needs repair then fix the damn thing. What ever happened to justifying a piece of equipment. Just saying you need it for public safety doesn’t get it.

    • wow Reply Report comment

      January 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      You may want to look up once and a while. We have some tall buildings where people live.

    • Ken S

      Observer Reply Report comment

      January 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      Not just residential buildings. And not just Mason City, but Mutual Aid has to be considered.

      In five minutes, I thought of over 50 locations in Mason City proper, and many more in the county where that ladder would be needed. This is by structure type, industrial versus residential, railroads, storage or presence of HazMat, and rescue applications.

      I chatted with two veteran firefighters from back home about this. They say apparatus needs to be replaced on an on-going basis. It is not just a discussion about function but of reliability. The time to think about apparatus is not when the fire alarm rings.

  7. Joe Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    My taxes keep going up and up!!! This is why many people, even city employees, have moved to smaller surrounding towns and why our population and tax base keeps going down. Of course I support our fire dept. This is the same type of BS as “If you aren’t for the war, you don’t support our troops!” I don’t think any fire truck is worth a million dollars. This is time to tighten our belts, Not spend, spend, spend. This rubber stamp council finds it VERY easy to spend other people’s money and the proposed (secret?) remodel of city hall is ridiculous. City Hall in FINE as is.

  8. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    I would guess that one good reason for this aieral truck so large is our fine hospital.. How about seeings they keep building up up up that THEY YES MERCY HOSPITAL THROW SOME MONEY INTO THE POT FOR ITS PURCHASE. SAY TO THE TUNE OF $500,000.00.!!!! Seems way fair enough to me. And yes PLATTS won’t tell you that cause he aint got the balls and has to answer to you know who!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Watchdog Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    There is not a fire truck on earth worth one million dollars.

    We are being worked over. They can say it costs a million dollars because we dummies bend over and take in the shorts.

    Nobody should pay a million dollars for a fire truck. Somebody is making a killing on the stupidity of elected leaders who have no idea what is going on.

    This is a head shaker!

    The worst part is, the elected buffoons will agree to the purchase, sell the bonds and we taxpayers get stuck paying a ridiculous amount of money for a fire truck.

    Down the road the elite insiders will get a vacation of their choice. Called the payoff!

    • wow Reply Report comment

      January 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      Way to take opinion and present it as fact. There are plenty of brand new fire trucks (with ladder and pumps) that cost over one million dollars.

    • Ken S

      Observer Reply Report comment

      January 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Sir, a 110 foot ladder with pump averages from $900,000 to $1.3 million. Those costs are very real.

      Why so high? NFPA codes. Safety. Reliability.

      Right now the average age for frontline apparatus is about 14.9 years, depending on service. Far less in big cities, and longer in rural service.

  10. Ignorance Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Instead of just shooting your mouths off like a bunch of idiots which I’m sure your not; what don’t you support the fire department instead since they are also the taxpayers that have to respond to non-taxpayers 911 calls for sprained ankles upto your family’s unresponsive relative. Why don’t you go to the fire department and ask the guys yourself? I have and now I realize how much they do. They are scraping by between staffing, where they live at and the trucks. And we have one of the lowest tax rates in the State.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 29, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Lowest tax rates don’t mean you go spend a million dollars on a fire truck so you can raise tax rates. That is just lame. I doubt we are the lowest too.

    • Crooked Reply Report comment

      January 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      Lowest tax rates compared to who??? I’d love to see the numbers on that one…….

  11. TheRealFred Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    So everytime we send out an ambulance we have to send a bunch of fire trucks with it. Now what do you know, the fire trucks are all worn out.
    Thats one way to get new vehicles, I guess.

    • Ken S

      Observer Reply Report comment

      January 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      Well, if we only send two men out on a medical call, better hope they can lift and treat the patient at the same time. Better hope there are no stairs involved, or other circumstances. Better hope the patient weighs 200 pounds or less. Better hope that you have the luxury of time so that you can gather up your equipment (while the patient waits – remember it took two people to bring that equipment to the patient).

      And if you only send two people, and more manpower is needed, how long do you think it would take to get others to respond?

      And when you are laying there bleeding, or not breathing, or your heart has stopped, just remember time is of the essence. How long are you willing to wait?

  12. Good Grief Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    GOOD GRIEF just because Clear Lake is looking into getting a aerial unit now MCFD thinks they need a new one! wtf” lets try spending money on things we need around here like maybe for instance new technology on how to solve crimes and unsolved crimes/murder.

  13. Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    In the picture, (prior to starting the video) what is it Tornquist is referring to about how big something is???

  14. Crooked Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Maybe if Chief Bob bought medications for the ambulance from the cheapest vendor instead of CLEAR LAKE PHARMCY he could have saved engough money already. Oh wait, HIS WIFE WORKS THERE!!!

    Time for NIT to do a little investagative journalism about MCFD….