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What will $6 donations buy? How about a Friendswood fire truck

November 14, 2018

Six dollars at a time can help pay for a new fire truck in Friendswood.

At a November meeting, Friendswood City Council approved the purchase of a 2019 Spartan fire truck for the city’s volunteer fire department.

Residents have the chance to opt-in on a $6 donation through their every-other-month utility bill to help pay for the $579,153 vehicle, a four-door custom Spartan model.

The new truck will replace a 1997 vehicle that has provided the department with years of service, according to Fire Chief Stan Kozlowski.

“It has reached the end of its useful life,” Kozlowski said.

The purchase is part of the city’s 15-year equipment replacement plan.

Fire trucks generally take close to a year to build once ordered, and the department will continue to use its current engine until the new Spartan arrives, city spokesperson Jeff Newpher said. The 1997 truck would then be auctioned, he said.

Mayor Mike Forman said the community has shown its support to the department through donations.

“Friendswood has a long history of generous residents who make the six-dollar donation to the fire/EMS departments on their utility bill,” Foreman said. “That buys the FVFD’s equipment so our firefighters and paramedics have the right tools when they respond to a resident’s emergency call.”

The new vehicle will be based at Kenneth M. Camp Fire Station No. 1, which was dedicated in Oct. 2017 at 1010 Whitaker.

Like the station, the Spartan will update the department’s technological capabilities.

The vehicle features LED lights that use less energy, eliminating the need for a second generator on the truck to run all the additional equipment. Many of the tools and materials on the truck will be operated with batteries that will be charged at the station.

“When it’s put in the field, everything can be used to run off a high-output alternator, and then when it gets back to the station and plugged back in, it recharges,” Kozlowski said. “I know that I’m putting the best equipment that we can obtain in the hands of the best-trained personnel to be able to service the citizens of Friendswood.”

The department has 61 volunteer members, who are supplemented by a paid five-member crew that is on standby Monday through Friday. The department responds to an average 2,400 calls annually, according to its website.

The department has four stations, five engines, three mobile intensive care-capable ambulances, four EMS first-responder vehicles, one ladder truck and four additional support vehicles.

“I know that I’m putting the best equipment that we can obtain in the hands of the best-trained personnel to be able to service the citizens of Friendswood,” Kozlowski said. “I need to be the best steward possible with the money that’s provided me by the citizens of Friendswood through the City Council, and I have to keep that in mind.”

yorozco@hcnonline.com

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