LONG BRANCH: The city fire department is looking to upgrade its fleet of vehicles.
The city council heard requests from department heads at its latest meeting on March 24, with Long Branch Fire Department among the participants.
Long Branch Fire Chief Kevin Stout said the department is looking to purchase two new fire engines.
"We are in dire straits when it comes to engines," Stout said. "Most of our fleet is very old."
Stout said the department responds to between 1,500 and 1,800 calls annually and that is taking a toll on the trucks.
The two new engines would cost $970,000 but Stout said a New Hampshire fire company is purchasing one of the department's older engines for close to $250,000. The sale would help offset the cost of the new vehicles.
Stout said the plan is to downsize the number of trucks as new, more efficient ones are purchased.
The department's newest truck, a quint which is a combination of a ladder and pumper truck, arrived at the end of last year and is currently housed at fire headquarters on Union Avenue.
The new trucks would be housed at the fire company that receives the most calls, which are currently Neptune Hose Company, Branchport Hose Company and Elberon Engine Company.
The funding for the trucks would be contained in the city's capital budget, which has not yet been introduced by the council but should in the next month or two.
Stout said the next vehicle that would need to be replaced would be the ladder truck at Oceanic Engine Company No. 1, but that it could likely wait another 4-5 years.