Ramsey FD replacing water tanker

The Ramsey Fire Department is ready to replace a 24-year-old water tank truck with a newer model.

The Ramsey City Council June 25 unanimously approved spending $333,632 to get a new water tanker in place. The city had set aside funding over the last two years for this major purchase, according to Fire Chief Dean Kapler.

Water tank trucks are useful tools for providing extra water for large fires and for getting water to areas of the community where there is no city water and thus no fire hydrants to hook up to.

“Over 60 percent of Ramsey is still non-hydrant, so our hauled water capacity is the top factor in our insurance rating for our non-hydrant areas,” Kapler said.

Assistant Fire Chief Matt Kohner said this water tanker truck will have hoses and the right gallons per minute pump to serve as a back-up fire engine as well in case an engine is being repaired. The truck could transport five people and hold up to 1,800 gallons of water.

A rotating chute on the back of the truck means water can be discharged from the side of the vehicle rather than just the back and there was no longer the need for separate side discharge chutes that would have made the tanker truck more expensive, Kohner said.

The water tanker truck will be purchased from Rosenbauer, which is located in Wyoming, Minn. Five of the six large apparatus the Ramsey Fire Department owns has been made by this company and all came through a sealed bid process, according to Kapler.

This truck is being purchased through the Houston-Galveston Area Council cooperative purchasing program. Rather than custom designing a truck, cities essentially have a catalog of trucks to choose from, so the final price can be lower, Kapler said.

Finance Director Diana Lund said this purchase will be part of a capital equipment certificates issuance that will come this month.

“Our group knows these vehicles are incredibly expensive and I’d be really disappointed if this vehicle didn’t serve this community well for 25 to 30 years,” Kapler said.

As for the 1989 Ford L9000 tanker truck, Kapler said it will attempt to sell this vehicle to a department that needs a used vehicle.

This was the first apparatus the department purchased after it was formed in 1988, he said.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]