Paris Fire Department in need of new truck

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PARIS, TX-- With a fire truck in the shop at least once a week, The Paris Fire Department is hoping the city council approves the purchase of a new truck in their upcoming budget.

1996 and 1997, the year models of the Paris Fire Department's oldest trucks still on the front line.

With an average truck being in regular service for ten years, Fire Chief Larry Wright says he worries their nearly 20 year old trucks wont make it to a scene without breaking down.

"Anything from hydraulics to pumps, to motor problems to the hubs on the wheels actually breaking, they are just wearing out," said Chief Wright.

Wright says one of their trucks is currently in the shop in Dallas with transmission problems, and their ladder truck is in a Paris shop for repairs. He says due to the age of the trucks, the shops even have trouble finding the parts to fix them.

Each station does preventative maintenance on the trucks each week, but since Paris bought their trucks around the same time, they're now all wearing out.

"What we're trying to do now is to get back on a schedule where we are staggering the purchase of the equipment so it wont wear out at the same time, and the city won't be expected to come up with the money to spend," said Chief Wright.

Paris Fire Captain Bob Rast says, just one new truck would benefit residents more than the firefighters driving it.

"It would mean a lot to us," said Rast. "But it would mean more to the city of Paris. The citizens would get a better quality of service."

City Manager John Godwin says he hopes the council sees the department's desperate need.

"$500-600,000 for a fire engine that's a very expensive proposition, but the alternative is a lot worse," said City Manager John Godwin. "If we can't respond adequately to a fire than we don't have an adequate fire department. "It's just as simple as that."

The council is expected to make their final decision within the next couple of weeks.

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