Fairfield spends $1M for six new emergency vehicles

Fairfield will purchase four new police cruisers. Police cruisers are replaced on a rotation basis as many average 125,000 miles over a five-year span. Pictured is a Fairfield police cruiser. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

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Fairfield will purchase four new police cruisers. Police cruisers are replaced on a rotation basis as many average 125,000 miles over a five-year span. Pictured is a Fairfield police cruiser. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

As the city reviews projects in its five-year capital improvement program, it will spend more than $1 million on six vehicles for its emergency services.

City Council last week OK’d the city manager to purchase four new police vehicles ($136,000 total), a new ambulance ($297,969) and a new fire truck pumper ($617,355), all classified as “major projects,” said City Councilman Mark Scharringhausen, chair of the public safety council committee.

The $1.05 million vehicle purchases were part of the original $15 million capital improvement projects slated for 2020, but Scharringhausen said minor projects are being reviewed amid the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic.

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“We’re looking to push those out,” he said of minor capital projects.

The city has an estimated $94 million worth of capital projects in the five-year program, with nearly 40 percent of that funding is slated for 2020 and 2021.

“The capital improvement program and the review process is a lengthy one that undergoes absolute scrutiny, not only by our elected officials but also by City Manager Mark Wendling and Finance Director Scott Timmer,” Assistant City Manager Dan Wendt. “The thing about emergency vehicles is that when you dial 911, we’re coming, and we’re going to be there for you. And in order to do that, we need to have reliable fire apparatus, ambulances and police cruisers.”

The four police vehicles will be purchased through Lebanon Ford in Warren County and will be added to the fleet of marked cruisers that are used by multiple officers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, said Wendling.

“The cruisers retiring from the fleet average 125,000 miles apiece, one of which recently blew a transmission,” he said.

Three of the vehicles are 2014 models, and one is a 2015 model.

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The city replaces cruisers on about a five-year rotation to “maintain the integrity and safety of the active fleet,” Wendling said.

The new ambulance will be purchased from Horton Emergency Vehicles Co. out of Grove City. It will replace the 2010 Horton ambulance due to “age and condition” and will be auctioned, according to a staff report by Brian Rose, Fairfield fleet manager.

The new E-One Custom Emax Pumper Fire Truck, which will replace a 1998 E-One Fire Truck, which has a cracked frame that’s been welded, Wendling said. It will be purchased from Vogelpohl in Erlanger, Ky. The city will auction off the 1998 truck.

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