Local government

Ontario Fire and Rescue Department closes in on purchase of new ladder truck

ONTARIO – The city of Ontario is prepared to borrow from itself to buy a new ladder truck for the Ontario Fire and Rescue Department.
The Ontario City Council on March 14 approved a plan to seek the new emergency vehicle and authorized officials to spend up to $800,000.
The money for the truck, which will replace a 1987 Seagrave ladder truck that is now inoperable, will probably come through an interfund loan. That’s where the city takes money from an existing account – essentially a loan where interest must be paid – and uses it to cover the cost of the truck. Once the city’s 2023-2024 budget is approved, officials said, the city will replace the money removed from an account with paid interest.
“For the safety of our community we can’t go very long without a ladder truck,” Dan Cummings, Ontario city manager, told the council. In a staff report, Cummings wrote he believed the city could find a new ladder truck for less than $800,000.
“We are trying to find one in the $500,000 to $600,000 range,” he said.
The fire department had a good lead on a ladder truck in Texas last month, but it sold before the city could make an offer, said Clint Benson, Ontario fire chief. Now the city is looking at a truck in Chicago, Illinois, which is outfitted with a 100-foot ladder.
“This one actually has a platform that is a lot safer for firefighters,” he said.
Benson said the city sent a mechanic to Chicago recently to inspect the truck.
The 2012 Pierce truck has 42,000 miles on it and listed for $695,000, said Benson.
If the inspection does not turn up in any major problems, officials will then make an offer.
“We think it will work really well. It will be a good tool for this area,” said Benson.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

Previous coverage:

Loss of ladder truck creates new challenge for Ontario Fire & Rescue Department

New Ontario fire chief aims to keep the focus on people first, public safety always

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