By Charles Sercombe
The federal government’s stimulus program continues to juice Hamtramck.
The Fire Department recently won two grants through the Department of Homeland Security that will greatly offset the costs of a new fire truck and an exhaust system inside the fire station. This means the Fire Department is now getting a second new truck within a year.
The grant for the truck will give the department $247,000 to work with. Normally, a new truck costs a little over $300,000 – but Fire Chief Steve Paruk said that’s with all the bells and whistles.
He said he’s confident he can find a truck company that can build a stripped down version. The department will have to come up with $27,500 as part of a matching grant requirement.
Although the department indeed needs a new truck, what it really needs badly is a new aerial ladder truck. The Department’s current ladder truck is about 30 years old and has been breaking down.
So far, the federal government has turned down the department’s grant requests for a new ladder truck. One reason the grant is being turned down is that a new ladder truck costs about $1 million.
The other grant is actually two grants rolled into one. It totals $72,000 and will allow the department to replace the exhaust system that clears the station’s garage of truck fumes and also replaces outdated equipment that refills the oxygen tanks firefighters use when fighting a fire.