Morden City Council approved the purchase of a new Pumper Truck for Morden Fire & Rescue (MFR). Chief Andy Thiessen said all of the trucks have a life cycle to them and according to the codes and fire underwriters survey, the ones who determine the insurance coverage for the province and for the country and give the timelines for the length of time vehicles can be used. Morden's Pumper Truck has "tapped out" on its lifecycle.  

Thiessen said it was scheduled to be replaced this year. 

"With COVID and all that that went on, those timelines of replacement have been pushed back. It used to be you would order a truck at this time of the year, you would have it by October, maybe November of the same year, and now we have a 34 month wait period."  

The order has been placed and MFR is expecting the truck to arrive in 2026 some time, which Thiessen admitted is a bit of a problem, but it's the best they can do.  

There was another harsh reality to boot. Plans to replace the truck began in August going through specs and making sure it was the truck to service the community for the next 25 years.  

"In August, the replacement of that truck was around $950, 000, around $1 million or so. Since then, till now, price increases and exchange rate and all that kind of stuff figured in, it's gone up 400 and some thousand dollars. (Now) it's just under $1.5 million." 

The benefit of the approximately 3-year wait will be funds can be set aside over the next few years to pay for it.   

Thiessen noted, about 70% of the truck is a generic build and 30% of it has features specialized for each department and area. This one will be able to wash carcinogens off firefighters' gear adding a real safety feature. 

"There are compartments and areas where we can clean our gear before we get back into the cab and before we get back to the hall. Those toxins are kind of controlled. We're not breathing them in, we're not rubbing them on our skin. The least amount we do that, the better to keep away cancer causing agents and stuff like that. So. that's one of the key components of this unit, we have a space to take care of that stuff for us." 

Thiessen remarked this pumper truck is the most used and important out of all the five vehicles: the bush truck, the first-line pumper, the rescue and the ladder trucks and the newest to the fleet (2021), the tanker.  

"It's our workhorse. It's the go to for any large event. It's the one that we depend on and that's why we go with a new unit. Some of the other ones we purchased used. They aren't our go-to, they're a great tool to have on the side. The pumper truck is our workhorse. We can't afford to not have one that's working for us every time."