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Cape FD looking to purchase new fire truck ahead of tariff price hikes

Posted: 9:25 PM, Aug 03, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-04 04:05:32Z
Tariffs taking a toll on local fire departments
Tariffs taking a toll on local fire departments

CAPE CORAL, Fla., - Tariffs are taking another toll, this time on fire trucks. Fire departments across Southwest Florida are working against the clock to make big purchases on fire trucks and other equipment before manufacturers raise prices.

The City of Cape Coral originally budgeted their 100 foot aerial platform ladder truck for 2019.

However, due to federal tariffs on aluminum and steel and the growing cost of manufacturing, the Cape Coral Fire Department says it wants to get ahead of a major price hike.

The City of Cape Coral is set to vote on Monday whether to purchase the new truck.

Fire Chief Ryan Lamb says the only other similar truck in the City is more than 10 years old and it’s time to make it a backup to one that’s going to be more reliable when you need it most.

“It’s not just the fire rescue pieces, we can do bridge rescues and we can do pickups so if a maintenance or rescue worker is hurt on top of a larger building,” said Chief Lamb.

The price of the new truck is estimated at $1,495,649. Lamb estimates it could cost 10-12% more if City Council waits until after the August 15th deadline.

“The funding we get is by our citizens and we want to make sure we do the best we can with the funds that’s provided to us.”

Lamb adds if tariffs don’t improve, it may become increasingly difficult to replace older trucks.

“Every time we go to look at the price of a new truck, we know that that cost is going to be increased. Now, it begins to draw a few questions on how much the next fire truck is going to cost us.”