EDWARDSVILLE/WITT - One of the best examples of cooperation is often displayed by area fire departments when they are called to back up others in major fire incidents. Another is how when one fire department outgrows a fire truck, it is also can be a tremendous benefit to others in a sale.

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This happened recently when Edwardsville Fire Department sold its 1999 Pierce Snorkel Fire Engineer to the Witt Fire Department for $15,000.

Edwardsville Fire Department Chief James Whiteford said his department did outgrow the vehicle, but it will be tremendous benefit to the Witt Fire Department.

“We have a vehicle replacement plan in place and that was part of our plan to update our current fire apparatus with the recent purchase of our new Rosenbauer Engine. We put that into service earlier this year and that allowed us to sell our oldest vehicle, the 1999 Pierce Snorkel."

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The Witt Fire Department provided this statement about the purchase: “We would like to thank the City of Edwardsville, Chief Whiteford, and firefighter Joey Cruz for their hospitality and professionalism throughout this process. Thank you for your continued support!”

“We thought long and hard about the proper use of taxpayer and fundraiser dollars and ultimately the pros well outweighed the cons. We backed our 1999 Pierce 65' telesquirt into the station last night having made the short trip home from Edwardsville Fire Department. One of the biggest deciding factors whether or not to purchase was that the added capabilities this truck provides, especially in the eyes of the ISO rating system, will allow us to further lower our rating. The WFD currently sits and an ISO 5 rating. With the addition of this truck and other upgrades we have been implementing, we are hopeful to drop to a Class 4 rating. On average, this should reduce homeowner insurance rates by 7-10 percent based on how your insurance companies uses the system."

Chief Whiteford said the next step in the vehicle replacement program for the Edwardsville Fire Department is to look for a 100-foot aerial truck. With the considerable growth in Edwardsville and many taller buildings, the extended height would be of great benefit to the Edwardsville Fire Department.

The Witt Fire Department closed its comments with the following: "During times of financial difficulties throughout our country and especially in Illinois, we couldn't think of a better time and way to try to save our taxpayers some much needed budget dollars.”

For the Edwardsville Fire Department, the $15,000 can be applied to future purchases and it is a win-win because the Witt Fire Department gets a truck that will enable it to more easily stop fires and save lives.

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