MERRILLVILLE | The Merrillville Fire Department is upgrading its fleet.
The Merrillville Fire Protection Territory Board on Wednesday unanimously decided to purchase three pumper trucks and one pumper/tanker from Pierce Global. The company submitted a bid of around $2.1 million.
Fire Chief Ed Yerga said the new apparatus will replace aging equipment currently used by the department.
The pumper trucks will go to the town's fire stations on 73rd Avenue, Taft Street and 57th Avenue.
The pumper/tanker will be used at the department's Ainsworth Station. It will replace a 40-year-old tanker there.
Yerga estimated it will take eight to nine months to build the new trucks.
Tom Goralczyk, chairman of the Fire Protection Territory Board, said he wanted to be more involved in reviewing proposals submitted for the equipment.
He said the Fire Department has encountered some issues with Pierce trucks currently used by firefighters.
Yerga said the last time the Fire Department purchased new firetrucks was in 2005, and there have been many advancements since then.
He said he is confident with the board's decision to purchase trucks from Pierce Global.
Funds from a $3.3 million bond issue will be used to pay for the new trucks, Yerga said.
The bond won't create additional costs to taxpayers because the department is paying off the debt with money from its equipment fund, he said.
The Fire Department used other funding from the bond issue to purchase new breathing apparatus and protective bunker gear for all of the department's full-time and volunteer firefighters.
Some of the department's previous breathing apparatus was donated to the New Chicago Fire Department, Yerga said.