WELSH — Residents here will benefit from improved fire protection with the addition of a new fire engine.
The fire engine, which replaces one that has been in service for more than 30 years, will have increased water capacity, making the department better equipped to fight larger fires.
“This should bolster the town’s fire protection arsenal and help maintain its Class 4 rating,” Mayor Carolyn Louviere said.
The $260,325 vehicle was purchased, in part, with a $39,000 interest-free loan from the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority. The rest of the financing is provided through a bond sale. St. Martin Bank and Trust Company is the primary lender.
The new fire engine is bigger, safer, has more cargo space, and is more user friendly than the old truck, which was refurbished in 1991 and was starting to decline in performance, reliability and usability, Fire Chief John Hall said.
The new truck will carry 500 more gallons of water, allowing the department to deliver water 50 percent longer without connecting to a hydrant. The truck should help the town maintain its fire rating, which benefits all residents and businesses by keeping insurance premiums low, Hall said.
Purchase of a new fire truck has been under consideration for about four years, with size, capacity, seating, horsepower and layout of the hose beds as primary considerations in the design. Through surveys, meetings, vendor demos and dealer input, “we were successful in selecting the perfect truck for our community,” Hall said.
“The purchase of a new fire truck means our firefighters are better able to protect the lives and property of the residents of Welsh,” Hall said. “In addition, replacing outdated equipment and a 1981-model fire engine that has been out of service gives our firefighters what they need to perform without placing their own lives in jeopardy.”
The LPFA Bond Bank Program is a voluntary program established by the LPFA Board of Trustees solely with LPFA funds to help local government entities and reduce their overall borrowing costs.