Freeport’s town council has approved spending about $648,000 for a new fire truck.

According to Freeport Deputy Fire Chief Eric Sylvain, the new truck will replace two old fire-fighting vehicles that are 1990 and 2001 models. The town council unanimously voted to award the funds Tuesday, and signed the contract on Wednesday.

The new truck will allow the department to combine the uses of the two older trucks into one piece of equipment, which according to Sylvain, won’t change response time or insurance rate, and will allow the department to save on maintenance costs.

“The budget for this particular item was decided earlier this summer and it is actually being paid for out of reserve accounts,” said Freeport Council Chairperson John Egan. “So, there is no net new tax burden other than the ongoing capitalization of our reserve accounts.”

A sketch of Freeport’s new fire truck. Courtesy of Allegiance Fire & Rescue

The truck will be custom built in Florida and hold 2,500 gallons of water as well as four firefighters. Requests for bids went to seven vendors. Allegiance Fire and Rescue out of Massachusetts made two offers and was selected.

According to Freeport Acting Fire Chief Paul Conley, the new fire truck is estimated to arrive in about 10 months. The model is more versatile and will work well in responding to both rural and urban fires, he said.

“Engine 1 is well over 20-years old and typical life expectancy depending on the amount of service, is typically a benchmark of 20, 25 years,” Conley said. “We’re already starting to see things that we need to do significant repair work too, at a costly price tag.”

The two old trucks will likely be put out to bid and could work well for a smaller department that responds to fewer calls, Conley said.

Conley estimated that Freeport responds to over 1,500 calls a year – roughly 1,000 EMS, 500 fire – and that those numbers have been consistent over the past five years. Exact figures for call numbers were not available Wednesday.

Once the new truck arrives and the older two leave, Freeport Fire and Rescue will have two engines, one ladder truck, three rescue trucks, a brush truck and a service pickup truck.

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