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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Engine 6 due for replacement

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  • The Pratt Fire Department purchased the bright red 1976 Seagraves known as Engine 6 brand new and it has served the department for 38 years.
    But, as with all equipment, the truck has developed a number of mechanical issues and it is expensive to maintain, said Pratt Fire Chief David Kramer.
    "It really has some serious issues. It's a struggle to keep things functioning," Kramer said.
    Chief among the serious issues with the truck is a problem holding water in the on-board tank, a critical issue for any fire truck.
    A new engine is close to $400,000 and the department just doesn't have that kind of money available to purchase a new unit.
    The fire department doesn't have the funds necessary to purchase a new vehicle so they are looking for a good used engine, Kramer said.
    The department has been saving as much as they can towards the truck and some firefighters have been turning back their fire training money to help raise funds to pay for the vehicle.
    The department has looked at options to get the money faster and at a variety of options involving a late model used engine.
    The other fire truck, Engine 1, is in very good condition but, at it is 12 years old.
    The fire department doesn't want to get behind on keeping the city units up to date. A second truck is necessary for the safety of the community.
    Firefighters take pride in keeping the trucks clean and meticulous so a lot of people don't realize the age of the trucks. Engine 6 may look good on the outside but it has a lot of internal issues that make it difficult to keep it on-line.
    If the city needs help at a fire, they contact the Township 12 Fire District to borrow a truck if necessary. That includes the ladder truck that would be necessary in the event of a fire in one of several structures in town that need a taller attack platform such as the high rise retirement facility.
    Besides Engines 1 and 6, the department also has Air 1, a unit that can refill air packs and equipment necessary at the fire.
    Engine 6 doesn't have a lot of storage space and that is part of the reason Air 1 was added to the department.
    A newer truck could have more storage space.
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