Lincoln celebrated the addition of a new fire engine late afternoon Wednesday, the fifth new engine to be introduced to the fleet and part of a $3.5 million infusion of seven new engines to the city’s fire service.
The last time a new engine was added to Station 9 was in 2006. Most of the engines that are coming in are replacing rigs that have 180,000 miles on them and were in the shop for repairs more than they were on the streets.
“They were just down to the bare bones,” Public Information Officer Nancy Crist said.
The breakdown of the older engines became a safety issue for the public when one of the engines needed to be towed from a medical scene, Crist said. That breakdown happened in 2018.
In 2016, the city council allocated $3.5 million toward improving fire engines. Crist said these new rigs will help save money in the long run because less cost will go into maintaining these vehicles,
Division Chief Kendall Warnock with Lincoln Fire and Rescue’s logistics division said Lincoln hasn’t had dedicated funding for fire apparatus for 19 years. Normally a department doesn’t get seven new engines all at once but that shows the dire need for these updated trucks.
“We needed an injection of seven-plus to get us in a place where we feel like our personnel can run calls and help people and not worry about anything breaking down,” Warnock said.
Older fire engines will not just be thrown away. Those rigs will be placed at other fire stations or used as back up trucks if needed.
The last of the two new engines will enter service on Jan. 31 at Station 8 and Feb. 3rd at Station 7.