The new fire engines replace aging vehicles that have high mileage and need frequent repair. - Photo by George Gasper courtesy of Lincoln Fire & Rescue

The new fire engines replace aging vehicles that have high mileage and need frequent repair.

Photo by George Gasper courtesy of Lincoln Fire & Rescue

The City of Lincoln, Neb., has added seven new fire engines to its Fire & Rescue (LFR) fleet at a cost of $3.5 million, a purchase Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said signals the end of the city's fire apparatus “crisis.” The new engines replace aging vehicles that have high mileage and need frequent repair.

Before being placed in service, LFR will install equipment from old apparatus. The first two vehicles are expected to be in service by Dec. 25, and the remaining five are scheduled to be in service by the end of February. The vehicles being replaced are too old for resale and will be sold for scrap metal.

Fire Chief Micheal Despain thanked the mayor and current and former City Council members for supporting the $3.5 million investment.

"This investment will move our fleet from about 40% healthy to about 85% healthy," Fire Chief Micheal Despain said. "We believe fire apparatus repair costs and downtime will be significantly reduced. The new engines will also provide better acceleration, reliability, and access for crews, all factors that impact emergency response."

Chief Despain said the health of the fleet depends not just on age, but also on factors like operating costs, downtime, repair costs, and the availability of parts.

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