HAMMOND | The Hammond Fire Department is buying two new firetrucks to retire spare rigs that have been in service for nearly 20 years.
The trucks are $450,000 each, and the city will own them at the end of a five-year lease term, City Controller Bobby Lendi said.
Hammond Fire Chief Jeff Smith said the new trucks will replace two rigs at Station 1 and Station 7. Those rigs will then become spares.
“They are nickeling and diming us to death. The spare ones are, they are 20 years old,” Smith told the Hammond City Council before it approved a resolution to enter lease agreements for the rigs in April.
“They go in service when one of our other ones breaks down for a short period of time. We need to replace them.”
Smith said the rigs that will become spares are between 11 and 12 years old.
The City Council approved the resolution, 8-0, with Councilman Al Salinas, D-2nd, absent.
“When it comes to public safety in the city of Hammond, police and fire are the No. 1 priority,” said Councilman Anthony Higgs, D-3rd. “If there is a fire, I want to make sure they have adequate equipment to get to my house.”