The Perrysburg Fire Department’s 1996 fire engine has received a makeover, and not just its color.
“Refurbishment of a fire engine is much more than a simple paint job,” Fire Chief Jeff Klein said of the formerly green vehicle.
Department personnel drove it to Appleton, Wis., where the original builder, Pierce Manufacturing, disassembled it, replaced several components, and put it all back together again before painting it red.
A significant upgrade was made to the engine’s lights, Chief Klein said. They had been a huge draw on the electrical system, which would wear out the alternator. The refurbished engine now has an LED system, which will save money on equipment replacement, he said.
The project cost $300,000, saving about half the cost of a new fire engine, he said. The money was drawn from the capital improvement fund. The chief said an advantage of refurbishing the vehicle is that while it looks and performs like a new one, it retains its 1996 title and therefore falls under EPA emission standards for that year.
Another bonus is with its maintenance. “Our mechanics are familiar with the vehicle and do not need to relearn a new piece of equipment,” Chief Klein said.
The refurbished vehicle is expected to now last another 15 years. The chief said its longevity will be helped by the fire division’s preventive maintenance program, which includes a yearly inspection with certified emergency vehicle technicians.
The department purchased a new engine in 2010, and the refurbished 1996 vehicle is now of the same caliber, Chief Klein said. “For the first time in years, our primary fire engines operate in a very similar way from pump operations, foam, light tower, and power generators,” he said.