The fire department’s annual push to maintain its fleet of fire trucks and support vehicles through bond packages this year would go toward a new ladder truck, two ambulances and two tenders.
If voters approve Proposition 6, the Anchorage Fire Department would receive $2 million to buy the new vehicles.
Even though the department has its own shop and provides constant maintenance, the expensive ladder trucks give out sooner or later. Ladder 1 is slotted for replacement, since it has recently spent more time in the shop than on the street.
“Sometimes our Alaska roads aren't the best, so often it's the drivetrain,” said AFD Chief Chris Bushue. “The other complicated thing about this truck is the actual ladder itself.”
Bushue said the men and women who use the trucks on a daily basis have one of the toughest jobs in the department.
“It's probably in some respects a little more dangerous operation because they don't have any fire-fighting water sometimes,” he said.
Tenders are the huge trucks that carry water to parts of the city, such as the Hillside, that have no fire hydrants.
While some other bond propositions would permanently increase the municipality budget, Proposition 6 replaces aging equipment and would not affect taxpayers beyond the one-time expense.
If voters approve the measure, the old equipment would be put on reserve status for a couple years and used in case of emergency.