Willoughby Hills Fire Department soon to host ceremony for new fire engine

Johnson’s Fire Equipment, located in Wellston, is currently working on manufacturing shelves and trays to mount the majority of the equipment that will be housed on Willoughby Hills Fire Department’s new engine. (Robert Gandee)

Willoughby Hills Fire Department’s new Spartan NXT Rescue Engine 1213 recently arrived at Willoughby Hills Fire Station.

Lt. Louis DiMattia and Chief Robert Gandee traveled to Johnson’s Fire Equipment in Wellston to pick up the new fire engine prior to its arrival. According to the fire department, the coarse adjustment of many of the larger tools and equipment are complete.

Additionally, there are a number of smaller tools and equipment that still need to be placed on the new rig.

The next step is to send the engine to Marazita Graphics, Inc. in Akron for the graphics package to be applied. After that, the rig will be brought back to the station to start training.

The last step will be for it to return back to Johnson’s for the final touches on equipment mounting. The fire department will then host a special ceremony, inviting members of the community to put the new fire engine into service.

“This is something that’s been a long time coming,” Gandee said. “It’s been an extensive amount of time, research, development and evaluating other fire engines throughout the area to find the best ideas, and layouts that would ultimately fit the needs of the community and the department.”

Last month, Gandee traveled to Johnson’s to check on the status of the engine. At the time, Johnson’s was working on manufacturing the shelves and trays to mount the majority of the equipment that will be housed on the engine, which was a time consuming process due to the brainstorming and assessment of where to stow everything in a safe, logical format

According to Gandee, the department’s current frontline engine has been getting its workout and has had a number of mechanical issues that have been being worked on, and repaired continually. However, once a number of repairs are completed on it, it’ll be a solid reserve engine, Gandee said.

“When the new engine has scheduled maintenance or any repairs, we’ll still have a reliable backup,” he said. “The timing of this can’t come soon enough in the grand scheme of things.”

Due to inflation, the department has observed a $75,000 increase initially in regard to purchasing a new engine.

 
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