Manteca a century ago bought its first fire engine.
Annual dances allowed the then all-volunteer department in 1920 to buy their first fire engine – a Ford combination pump and chemical engine equipped with 1,000 feet of hoses and ladders — for $4,000. The department put down $1,000 and paid $1,000 a year thereafter.
Before the Ford fire engine was bought, volunteers fought fires with hose carts and bucket brigades.
On Tuesday — 100 years after the Ford fire engine was purchased — the City Council authorized buying a new fire engine for assignment to the Woodward Avenue and Atherton Drive fire station that opened this summer.
The price tag is a bit higher — $655,575. Instead of proceeds from community dances, the city is paying for the new fire engine with fire impact fees assessed on new housing and commercial growth.
The Fire Department initially planned to purchase the fire engine on a five-year lease term. However, the availability of fire impact fees allows the city to purchase the new fire engine without creating a debt obligation.
Fire Apparatus Solutions’ total cost for the new engine is quoted at $670,854.48 including tax. But if the invoice is paid within 10 days of council authorization, the city will be able to take advantage of a discounted purchase price and a corresponding reduction in sales tax. This will reduce the total purchase price to $655,575. The overall cost includes a 3.25% contingency in the amount of $21,306 to cover any unforeseen cost associated with the production of the engine.
The department is expected to take delivery of the fire engine in 2021.
The engine currently assigned to the city’s fifth and newest fire station — a 2003 American La France — operates as the only frontline fire engine at that location. The engine is nearing its end of life and requires constant repair and maintenance to ensure its usefulness. With the purchase of a new fire engine, Fire Department staff will be able to rotate the unit into the fleet of aging reserve engines.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com