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Fire Dept. seeking another ladder truck
Firetruck tower 1
Pictured is Tower One in action.

Will McMinnville officials vote to approve a new ladder truck for the Fire Department this time around? It’s the second time in two years a fire chief has made a request for a new ladder truck.
In 2013, then-Fire Chief Keith Martin asked the city for two firetrucks. He requested an engine truck at $318,967 and a quint, also called a ladder truck and similar to the city’s Tower One, at $558,919. The request divided the board and failed on second read with some officials saying the city does not need a ladder truck.
The two trucks requested in 2013 would have been used to replace a 40-year-old ladder truck that had been wrecked, and a 23-year-old engine.
While Martin said the city needed both trucks to replace aging ones, current Fire Chief Kendall Mayfield is asking only for the ladder truck.
“Our firetrucks are getting old,” said Mayfield. “I would like to get a quint. A quint has a pump on it and a ladder on it. It’s about like Engine Six, the old engine we had that was wrecked. It needs to be replaced. The pump is worn out on it. It didn’t pass the pump test the last two years."
Mayfield says an aging fleet is costing the city money.
“Today, I had someone at the city garage look up this year’s parts list and this year we have spent $3,350 on two engines – Engine Eight and Engine Seven. He said, from now on, it’s only going to get worse. If we get one, it would be good for another 20 years before we have to replace it.” 
Tower One is located at Fire Station One on Main Street, while Tower Two, if purchased, would be located at Fire Station Two on Old Smithville Road. Mayfield says having a quint at Station Two would be a benefit.
“A quint would be very useful around the apartment buildings in that area,” he said. “It could get there quicker than we can get Tower One there. It would take seven or eight minutes to get across town. The new quint’s ladder would be tall enough to reach the top of any of the apartment buildings over there.”
Alderman Mike Neal reminded those in attendance the quint was not favored by board members the last time the request was made.
“As those of you on the previous board know, we already talked about this,” said Neal. “Many on the board did not want to go with the quint. They wanted to do the pumper truck. If we want to do bids, do we want to isolate ourselves with one type of truck or do we want to go out for bids on an engine truck as well?”
Alderman Everett Brock questioned of Mayfield, “Do we need the quint?”
“We really, really do,” said Mayfield. “If Tower One goes down or something were to happen to it, we would not have a ladder truck. The old quint passed its ladder test, but that’s the only test it passed this year. The pump test, when we tried it again, it didn’t pass.”
Safety Committee members Neal, Brock, and Ryle Chastain agreed to allow Mayfield to go out for bids on a quint. When the bids are received, the committee will met again to consider them.