Fire engines in Jackson Hole’s wildland firefighting fleet date back to the late ’50s and early ’60s, when they were purchased as military surplus vehicles.
To replace the aging engines, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS is requesting $1.6 million to buy four new trucks at an estimated cost of $400,000 each.
“Our current fleet cannot be operated by many of our volunteer firefighters who lack the strength or knowledge to drive these old manual steering, manual transmission, commercial vehicles,” the specific purpose excise tax request states.
Replacement parts to maintain the vehicles are often unavailable. If the trucks are filled to the brim with water, they are too heavy to safely navigate Teton Pass due to “safety concerns, primarily related to the braking system.”
New engines will make it safer to drive on steep terrain, possible to carry more water and faster to respond to fires, according to Jackson Hole Fire/EMS.