It’s no surprise to anyone that Fire Engines have longevity. When a Fire Department makes a purchase of a Pumper or other apparatus, the costs after outfitting with equipment and utilities can be as much as a single family house! For that reason, Fire Engines are scrupulously maintained, repaired, and taken care of. The miles it drives are low on an annual basis, but the stress of those short term miles and the conditions it runs in will eventually take their toll on even the best equipment.
The Norwood Park Fire Protection District recently retired and sold Engine 103, a Pierce Lance (make and model) Pumper it purchased in the Spring of 1992. The Engine, equipped with a 750 gallon water tank and a 40 gallon foam tank, originally seated 6 firefighters when purchased but was retrofitted for four when space was needed for EMS equipment (when our front line engine was converted to an ALS, or Advanced Life Support, response vehicle a few years ago). It served our Fire District for over 17 years, responding to multiple fires and EMS calls as well as, more sadly, a funeral caisson when Firefighter Christopher Goldsworthy passed away in 2006. Engine 103 served us proudly…and is now beginning a new life with the Garden Valley Fire Department of Idaho.
You see, the cost of new Fire Equipment is prohibitive to some Fire Departments, as a result they look for used equipment which is affordable, well maintained, and costs less to operate annually. Norwood Park was able to sell Engine 103 to Garden Valley, whom had it shipped via flatbed truck to their location in December. Norwood Park continues to be served by Engines 101 and 102, as well as Truck 104 and three ambulances.