Humboldt defers fire truck repairs

Rather than spending $11,000 or more to repair a 27-year-old fire truck, Humboldt officials will instead wait for a new truck to arrive sometime after Jan. 1. Because Humboldt's Volunteer Fire Department coordinates it services with other townships, there's a large pool of resources to draw from in the event of a fire.


Local News

November 9, 2021 - 10:24 AM

Stephanie “Stevie” McBeth, left, has joined Chief Shannon Moore at the Humboldt Police Department. Photo by Susan Lynn / Iola Register

HUMBOLDT — City officials agreed to wait until a new fire truck arrives after the first of the year rather than invest in repairing its 27-year-old truck that is unable to pump water.  The culprit is a malfunctioning gearbox.

A “rough estimate” for the repairs — once determined what is needed — is $11,000, said Cole Herder, Humboldt city administrator, including transportation to Salina, where the repairs would be done.  

Herder said deferring the repairs was on the advice of Sean McReynolds, chief of the city’s volunteer fire department.  

Because Humboldt’s Volunteer Fire Department coordinates its services with Humboldt Township, Logan Township and Fire District No. 4, there’s a large pool of resources to draw from in the event of a fire. 

“We all share the same volunteers,” Herder said after the meeting. “Humboldt also houses their equipment and they allow us to use their equipment in the city.”

Humboldt historian Carolyn Whitaker asked the Council to host the 2022 Civil War Days on the square next October. Photo by Susan Lynn

Humboldt also has mutual aid agreements with surrounding communities if it needs additional help.

 “Sean said he could never remember a time when we had a structure fire outside the city and in the city at the same time,” Herder said. 

The city expects to sell the current truck as soon as the new one arrives.  

“Delivery is expected in February,” Herder said, “barring any delays.” 

The city is purchasing the new engine from Toyne Fire Apparatus Manufacturers out of Breda, Iowa, the same manufacturer of the 3-year-old pumper purchased by Rural Fire District No. 4. 

The city invested $30,000 in the current engine four years ago, and officials are leery of spending any more on it so close to it being mothballed. For what repairs are expected to cost, they likely will not fully recoup with its sale. 

In the end, council member Cindy Holinsworth recommended council “go with the recommendation of Chief Reynolds and his crew,” to which all agreed. 

IN OTHER news, council approved a request from Carolyn Whitaker to host the 2022 Civil War Days on the square next October.  

Whitaker went to some lengths to explain how she is working with two professors from Missouri State University on a documentary about the 1861 burning of Humboldt and how many of the same ruffians then set fire to Osceola, Mo., just two weeks later. 

Police Chief Shannon Moore also introduced Stephanie “Stevie,” McBeth, a new officer with the department.   

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