The Rosenberg Fire Department will be adding a new addition to its fleet after Rosenberg City Council voted in favor of purchasing of a new ladder truck at its last meeting.

The item had also been previously discussed in detail during the June 22, workshop

The purchase of the new ladder truck is a key part of the department’s strategic plan, which was presented to the council during the March 23 workshop, city leaders said.

The plan is to acquire equipment to effectively respond to emergencies; to meet the community’s needs; maintain reliability; and provide the highest level of safety for firefighters.

The purchase of a new ladder truck was also identified as a critical need by the department’s consultant, Michael Pietsch, with P.E. Consulting Services, Inc.

During the assessment the consultant recommended the city add two additional fire stations.

By operating a ladder truck out of the Fort Bend EMS facility, located at 4336 SH 36 South, the city will get credit for transitioning that facility into a fully functioning fire station complete with a full crew, improved response times, and increased coverage for the southwest portion of the city, Pietsch said.

The council and Fort Bend County entered into an interlocal agreement at the Dec. 15, 2020, council meeting to allow the city to house a fire apparatus at the EMS facility to better serve city residents in that area.

“The City continues to develop and is expanding outwards and upwards with new larger and taller buildings, including hotels, apartments, office buildings, educational facilities, and commercial, industrial and distribution sites,” said Fire Chief Darrell Himly. “This new ladder truck will not only improve the Fire Department’s response capabilities, but it will also help maintain the City’s Fire Insurance Rating or ISO Rating which helps lower insurance premiums for residents.” According to Mr. Pietsch, without the purchase of the truck, the City’s ISO rating would increase from a level 2 to a level 3 which could result in an 8% increase in home insurance premiums and a 2% increase for commercial businesses.

The truck will cost $1,409,627; $410,000 of the funding comes from the fleet replacement fund and $1,000,000 comes from excess sales tax revenue. Last summer during the Covid-19 pandemic, the City conservatively budgeted sales tax projections for Fiscal Year 2021 due to much uncertainty. According to Director of Finance and Assistant City Manager Joyce Vasut, for the period of October 2020 through May 2021, the City received an excess of $2.3 million in sales tax compared to the budgeted amount. By purchasing the truck now, the City also saved approximately $150,000 by taking advantage of a pre-paid cash discount of $47,283, securing the contract prior to the manufacturer’s commodity cost increase of 4% and their 3.5% annual price increase set for February 2022, which made this an excellent opportunity to fund the vehicle.

The ladder truck will take approximately 13-14 months to build and is scheduled to arrive in August of 2022. Aside from a vertical ladder reach of 100’ and a horizontal reach of 93’ for aerial rescue, firefighting and an elevated water stream, the ladder truck will also provide other added benefits to the fire department’s fleet. The design of this ladder truck will allow it to work at 20 degrees below grade level which will provide for enhanced rescue operations. This along with the added benefits of the platform basket, increased water flow capabilities and assortment of additional ground ladders will make this a valuable asset.

For more information about the Fire Department, give Chief Himly a call at the non-emergency number at 832-595-3600, visit the City’s website at rosenbergtx.gov/fire or follow them on Facebook @RosenbergFire. For emergencies, please dial 911.

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