Ottumwa City Council to vote on new fire truck

Itâ??s a vital purchase that will make saving lives an even faster process.

The Ottumwa City Council will be voting on Tuesday evening to approve the purchase of a just over $1 million fire truck for the Ottumwa Fire Department.

This may seem like a big price tag but thereâ??s no price on saving a human life.

â??With the current fire department equipment, we cannot reach the top of West Gate Tower or other areas in the city, as far as saving lives. With this new piece of equipment it would have a 100 foot ladder and would be able to reach every area of the city,â?? said Joe Helfenberger, Ottumwa City Administrator.

Fire Chief Tony Miller said this has been a long time coming.

â??The reason why we need this new truck is because the truck we have, we had to take it out of service because of maintenance issues. We are looking forward to this. It's been a long process and when you come into the fire service, you want to do what's the best for the citizens, for your community, and I think we're going to do that,â?? said Chief Miller.

Helfenberger said this purchase will not only save lives but will also save Ottumwa residents money.

â??It would be one tool as far as trying to improve the insurance service rating for the city that would save the residents and industrial commercial property owner additional funds in their property insurance policies,â?? said Helfenberger.

Helfenberger also added that now is the time to make this purchase.

â??I don't think that financing will get much lower than that. If you look at that and there's a great need to be able to provide this and the fact that the current aerial truck is in such bad shape it had to be taken out of commission with the fire department. We do need this piece of equipment,â?? said Helfenberger.

â??Bottom line is it's saving lives. Itâ??s something we need and needed for a long time,â?? said Chief Miller.