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Aurora -- The city's new fire engine, which was delivered last year, is a huge improvement over the 1988 fire vehicle it replaced, according to Fire Chief David Barnes.
The new fire engine will be on display to the community at an open house May 31 from noon to 3 p.m. at Fire Station No. 2 at 1049 N. Aurora Road, next to the Aurora VFW.
Barnes said the 1988 vehicle lacked many of the safety features available today such as updated brakes, lights, three-point seat belts and an energy efficient motor.
"The [new] engine can carry a crew of six to the scene of an emergency safely and pump 1,500 gallons per minute from a natural water source or a fire hydrant using less fuel than the vehicle it replaced," Barnes said. "It is easier to service because the cab tilts. For example, the roof on the old truck had to be removed to change the radiator in 2004."
The new engine was delivered in 2013 and was manufactured by Rosenbauer America in Minnesota. It carries 750 gallons of water and recently pumped about 70,000 gallons of water out of Silver Creek over a six-hour period at the devastating Garrettsville downtown fire, according to Barnes.
"The engine performed flawlessly when drafting [water] out of Silver Creek because of a new automatic air primer system which helps the pump operator maintain a constant water supply," he said.
The new engine was purchased for about $453,000 with funds from the city's fire/paramedic levy, which has been in existence since 1986.
"It has supplied funds that have purchased all of the vehicles we currently use and pays the salaries and benefits for five firefighter/paramedics," he said. "These funds allow us to keep our equipment, training and level of service up to the high standard that the community expects."
The levy, which is brought up to voters for renewal every five years, currently generates about $875,000 a year, Barnes said.
The fire department now has three engines, three rescue squads and one ladder truck.
The Hiram Fire Department purchased the 1988 E-One engine for $15,000 as a backup for its current equipment, according to Barnes.
At the May 31 open house, people can park their vehicles at New Life Assembly at 911 Orchard Ave., just down the street from the fire station. Attendees will be able to sit inside the engine and examine the equipment carried on it. Light refreshments will be served.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187
Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC