Inter-Canyon Fire looking to purchase new apparatus

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By Deborah Swearingen

Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District is looking into purchasing a new tactical tender truck.

The truck could better navigate mountain roads, thus providing better protection for much of the district — particularly in a wildland fire. If purchased, it would likely be housed at station two on South Deer Creek Road in the midst of the district’s wildland urban interface.

“It’s made for our environment,” Chief Skip Shirlaw told the board during its Feb. 13 meeting, adding that a tactical tender is generally what other fire departments want when calling for mutual aid.

Although no decisions were made and no purchases would happen in 2018, the board of directors is faced with a question: Does a new truck top its list of needs? Inter-Canyon has about $1 million in its reserve fund but must determine what projects justify dipping into reserves.

For now, board members tend to agree that a new truck is worth researching.

“It fits an example of the things to be thinking about as a board for the longer term, given the million variables that we don’t know,” said board member Kerry Prielipp.

Some variables, such as increasing population and declining volunteerism, can be accounted for, while others are unknown. But what is not going away is the necessity of providing protection and responsiveness to residents, Prielipp said.

Furthermore, the board is talking about devising a long-term plan for the fire protection district that would help in making decisions such as this one in the future. In discussing the future, the district acknowledged that there are challenges it is facing that were not planned for or addressed in the past.

To determine prices for a new tactical tender with various features, Shirlaw is currently working with SVI Trucks, a Fort Collins-based custom emergency vehicle company, and plans to return to the board with prices to consider in its March meeting.