Department secures $500K pumper truck

Photo provided
Ferdinand's new 32-foot pumper truck that will also double as a secondary rescue vehicle.


FERDINAND — It won’t be long before Ferdinand residents notice a shiny, new, half-million-dollar fire truck responding to both fire and emergency calls picked up by the local fire department.

Representatives from the outfit drove Thursday to Holden, Louisiana — about 20 minutes from New Orleans — to pick up their new 32-foot pumper truck that will also double as a secondary rescue vehicle. It will replace a 1990 model truck that Fire Chief John Hoppenjans said the department has had issues with and has also outlived the active lifetime outlined by the National Fire Protection Association.

Hoppenjans said the NFPA says a truck is “good” for 20 years and can be kept on back reserve until it’s 25.

A committee of five firemen began the process of getting a new truck three years ago by assembling a list of specifications and drawing a draft of the truck. They shopped around at different manufacturers, and Ferrara Fire Apparatus placed the cheapest bid and was awarded the work in November. The new truck — which can pump 1,750 gallons of water per minute and has a 750-gallon water tank — was paid for with funds from both the Town of Ferdinand and Ferdinand Township. The total cost of the new truck was $499,178.

“It’s really a joint effort in getting this truck,” Hoppenjans said. “We really do appreciate them finding money and stuff like that to make this happen.”

After it’s brought into town for the first time tonight, the new truck will be housed in Ferdinand’s northside station just east of the intersection of 23rd Street and Industrial Park Road on Ferdinand’s north side. Hoppenjans said this will help with response time, especially since many of the department’s members live on that side of town. The 1990 model truck is housed at the town’s main station, which is located near the intersection of Fourth and Carolina street.

It won’t be ready to go for a while because the department needs to order some factory parts and train the team on how to use it. The chief hopes it will be in full use by the town’s Firemen’s Ball on Saturday, July 28. He is eager to show off the new addition at the annual event.

“We’re going to have it at the Firemen’s Ball, sitting out front for everybody to see,” he said, adding that residents can stop by the northside station to get a look from 8 to 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings if the garage doors are open.

“We’re pretty proud about it,” he added.

The department is currently searching for a buyer for the old truck and hopes to get $9,500 for it.

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