In the market for a 1999 Spartan fire truck? The El Dorado Hills Fire Department has a deal for you.
The Fire Board gave the OK to unload the truck last month, declaring it surplus. Now, Chief Dave Roberts and staff need to find it a new home, preferably in El Dorado County. Diamond Springs/El Dorado Fire Protection District officials have expressed interest.
“It would be nice to keep it in the county because we have the only reliable trucks in the county,” Roberts noted.
The Fire Board agreed. Director John Hidahl encouraged staff to discuss a payment plan with the neighboring district, adding that he’s like to see contingencies in the contract — if it includes a payment plan — that the El Dorado Hills Fire Department can take the engine back if the buyer can’t make the payments.
With nothing set in stone, Roberts said they’re looking at all their options. A preliminary estimate sets the truck’s worth at $100,000 to $150,000 and they will open the bidding for it soon.
The fire department bought the truck new for $625,000. “We got a really good deal on it because it was the first truck Marian built,” said Roberts, explaining that normally the truck would have cost about $800,000.
Being the Guinea pigs for Marian, the department did have to work out a few bugs over the years; an axle’s occasional failure prompted a replacement. But all in all, Roberts had good things to say about the truck, which also stores and pumps water.
“It really does double duty,” Roberts noted, “and therefore doesn’t last as long.” The every-day-use lifespan of this truck type, called a “Quint” is typically 10 to 15 years.
The department purchased a $1 million replacement in February.
“The new truck is a 2012 Sutphen 100-foot platform. Sutphen has been in business supplying fire apparatus and equipment for over 100 years,” Chief Roberts explained in an e-mail. “They build an outstanding product and have been building ladder trucks since the ’60s. The unit that we purchased was an ‘off the shelf’ model that they produce all the time.”
The fire department maintains and operated three Type III engines for wildland fire calls and medical aid; five Type I engines for structure fires, vehicle accident, limited wildland coverage and medical aid; one truck, a multi-purpose “Quint” with water hose and 100-foot areal platform (plus the truck now for sale); one Air unit/ rehab unit that Fill SCBA (air) bottles at structure fire scene and provide supplies for rehab of firefighters; and water tender (given to the department by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services) to supply water to non-hydrant areas within the district and for wildland fires.