Chippewa Falls snorkel truck back from repairs

(WEAU) - The Chippewa Falls snorkel truck is finally back after being out of service for the past month due to a broken seal of hydraulic fluid.

However, a replacement truck is still in the works for the Fire Department. A new fire truck could cost the city between $800,000 and $900,000 and change insurance rates if it’s not replaced.

It’s a snorkel truck that's been with the Chippewa Falls Fire Department since 1981.

The truck can reach up to 85 feet, but the Chippewa Falls Fire Department says they want a truck that can reach over 100 feet.

The Fire Chief says having a 32-year old truck has its limits.

“The parts are very hard to get, and nobody wanted to work on it locally, we had to get it over to a fire truck repair shop over in St. Paul, Minnesota,” said Chief Tom Larson of Chippewa Falls.

The repairs cost $5500 and the Mayor agrees the truck needs replacing.

"A little bit of struggle you have is it can continually to nickel and dime you and have more breakdowns," said Chippewa Falls Mayor Greg Hoffman.

The Chief says Chippewa Falls currently has an insurance rating that keeps rates low, but that could change if the truck isn’t up to date.

"What I would like to do is setup a fund and we can contribute to it somewhat as a city but have other people that we could have a basically a replace the fire truck drive," said Hoffman.

Both the Chief and Mayor say that eliminates raising taxes. Meanwhile another option is to create bonds that can be paid off over a period of time.

“I would hope by the first of September that we could start moving forward and start getting input from the community," said Hoffman.

The chief plans to meet with the public safety committee in July with details on a 110 foot aerial truck that can reach the height of more buildings in Chippewa Falls.

"We do have a few that are higher than 85 feet now. The new sand plant and some of the grain elevators and some of our stuff are higher than that. Projected out over 30 years we don't know what will be built here," said Larson.


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  • by William Location: CF on Jun 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM
    Just a thought, there may be a used one out there much newer to purchase? its just a thought?
  • by Anon Location: CF on Jun 22, 2012 at 08:52 AM
    Grants and other aid will soak up a majority of the $900,000 if written correctly and it's available. The remaining amount will surely pay for itself when insurance rates go down with a new truck in your district. This type of equipment takes a lot of abuse, obviously, and it's amazing this piece lasted this long. Try to be a little more optimistic.
  • by pjll on Jun 22, 2012 at 08:41 AM
    I will donate towards a truck for the CF fire dept! If Mr. Mayor Hoffman says they need one, they need it. That man does not lie. He is probably one the only the politicians that is a GOOD guy. (I'm a former neighbor of his, and he really is a wonderful human.)
  • by geez on Jun 22, 2012 at 08:23 AM
    Those NYC buildings are built to a totally different standard than here and have much different equipment inside them to fight fires. Start requiring businesses to build to those standards and those businesses will go else where along with those jobs and the tax base. Old equipment tends to fail more often than newer. What if it fails when there are lives on the line? What if a fire fighter or two lose their lives? Have you ever stopped to think how much that costs just financially, let alone emotionally to a community? The equipment will look cheap in comparison just on the dollars. But that is what this is about isn't it? I'm so tired of people who look at nothing more than the dollars and do not look at the situation in the big picture. Penny wise and pound foolish will always get you in the end.
    • reply
      by Eau Really on Jun 22, 2012 at 09:56 AM in reply to geez
      The problem is that we see so much wasted, it's become hard to not look a pricing on things the public buys. New equipment can break down also. The key is to test the equipment regularly to verify it will be serviceable when needed. But for a city the size of CF, maybe the 32 years they got out of this truck is enough and it could be time to upgrade. It's worth looking at.
    • reply
      by anon on Jun 22, 2012 at 10:43 AM in reply to geez
      Thank You!!! You said exactly what I think when I read the comments on this site. What the heck is wrong with people today sometimes you have to suck it up and replace stuff. Have a beautiful weekend!!!
  • by nels on Jun 22, 2012 at 06:44 AM
    seems like 5500 is cheaper than 900,000 as for 85' not big enough guess new york will need a 1700' snorkel truck to reach the top of the new trade center bldg. maybe it's time to tell those over 85' you're on your own
  • by chuk on Jun 21, 2012 at 08:58 PM
    make the sandmines pay for half or more
    • reply
      by Dave on Jun 22, 2012 at 04:04 AM in reply to chuk
      Really? Do people think before they type?
    • reply
      by ??????? on Jun 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM in reply to chuk
      why?
  • by Ralph Location: Eau Claire on Jun 21, 2012 at 05:40 PM
    $5,500 is a pittance compared to what a new unit will cost. A new unit will likely cost over 100 times what the repair did. Nickles and dimes are a lot easier to come by than hundreds of thousands.
    • reply
      by realistic on Jun 22, 2012 at 05:37 AM in reply to Ralph
      Nickles and dimes are a lot easier to come by than hundreds of thousands of dollars but are you willing to take the risk that the equipment will fail when needed most? Having a $100 part fail when needed most could easily jeopardize an entire structure as well as peoples lives...can't put a price tag on that.
    • reply
      by ROK on Jun 22, 2012 at 06:00 AM in reply to Ralph
      try 163 times more expensive - $900,000! thats what they are looking at buying. must be nice to be able to spend other people's money. no worries!
    • reply
      by anon on Jun 22, 2012 at 10:39 AM in reply to Ralph
      Parts for this truck are becoming obsolete also and apparently so is finding mechanics to work on it. What do they do when a part goes out that is no longer available??????
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