Junction City buying second fire truck for $37K

Published 11:50 pm Friday, June 14, 2019

Junction City is getting a second firetruck, which will enable its fire department to be better equipped when answering emergency calls in the area.

Fire Chief Cory Kitchen told the Junction City Council Thursday night at its regular meeting he had found a truck to replace the 1.5-ton Chevy that had been used to haul much of the department’s rescue equipment before it was destroyed about a year and a half ago, when someone crashed into the vehicle at the scene of an accident.

Instead of replacing the truck with a similar one, Kitchen said he and members of the fire department decided “it makes more sense for something to be used for more than one thing, than to purchase just one vehicle that’s just hauling something around.”

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After getting the OK from Mayor Jim Douglas and council member Kenny Baldwin to search for a replacement, Kitchen began looking at trucks.

There are also instances when having a second pumper truck would save the city money, Kitchen said. Just recently there was a fire on Anderson Lane, but no fire hydrant was close by so they had to call Boyle County Fire Department for assistance.

“If we had another truck with just a little bit more water, we could have saved the expense of the county having to come out,” he said.

Also, since Junction City is starting to grow — a new commercial business is coming to town and more houses are being built — “I think this will benefit our town,” Kitchen said.

After little discussion, the council agreed to allow Kitchen to purchase a 1996 custom cab pumper fire truck from Laurel County for $37,000 that he had negotiated for. The truck will be paid for from the $25,000 insurance claim and the city will make up the $17,000 difference.

“I think we’d be better off with this truck. … Go buy the truck,” Douglas told Kitchen. When a council member asked if the city had the money for it, Douglas replied, “We’ll squeeze it out.”

On Friday, Kitchen said he’ll pick up the truck and drive it to the Junction City Fire Department on Monday.

The town’s volunteer firefighters will soon begin training on the truck, Kitchen said. And they’ll be deciding where to put all of the rescue apparatus. “All equipment will have a designated place.”

Kitchen said it’s important for the fire department to “be prepared for the future.”

The JCFD is anticipating growth in Junction over the next five to 10 years, Kitchen said. “We can’t wait until it happens. We want to provide the best service for our community that we can. … We are trying to do something good for the community. It will provide help better and extends our resources.”

All new lettering will be added, and the truck will make its public debut during the Junction City Cruise-in on July 20.