Mesa spends upwards of $750,000 for a pumper, more for ladder rigs. But when it’s time to replace them, they fetch only $5,000 to $10,000.
For other departments, though, almost any truck that runs would represent a big upgrade.
Superior is one example. The old mining town east of Mesa has six vehicles in its fire fleet, one of which is inoperable.
Mesa Councilman Dave Richins learned about this through his work in the Superior area as government affairs adviser for Resolution Copper Mining LLC — a job he took last fall.
Richins asked the Mesa Fire Department if it had an old truck Superior could use. It wasn’t unprecedented; Mesa previously has donated trucks to small Arizona fire departments, Mesa Community College and a sister city in Mexico.
It turned out that Mesa has a 1997 Pierce Quantum pumper that no longer meets city standards for frontline service.
Assistant Fire Chief Jim Bloomer won unanimous City Council agreement this week when he sought permission to donate the rig.
He said the Superior department, relying partly on volunteers, handles about 200 to 400 calls a year. With U.S. 60 serving as a link to eastern Arizona, Bloomer said it’s likely the truck will continue serving Mesa residents who encounter emergencies on the road.
Richins said during the March 20 study session he has become familiar with conditions in Arizona’s “copper corridor” through his job.
“The financial issues in those towns are pretty stark,” he said. “Even though these (trucks) have a lot of miles on them they’re excellently maintained.”
Council assent was unanimous, with Dennis Kavanaugh saying the donation furthers Mesa’s role in regional partnerships and David Luna saying he grew up in southeast Arizona’s mining country.
“Those communities are in dire need of assistance,” Luna said.
by Gary Nelson, The Republic | azcentral.com