Two new Puget Sound Fire aid cars hit the streets of Kent last month.
The vehicles serve the downtown area out of Station 71, just south of Willis Street at 504 W. Crow St. The purchases were part of the agency’s planned replacement program when vehicles start to age.
Each car cost $284,000, said Capt. Joe Root, Puget Sound Fire public information officer, in an email. The Braun F-450 Liberty Aid Cars replaced vehicles that were 15 years old and had about 30o,000 miles on them.
“The goal with the new aid units was to reduce the stock of equipment carried and the overall size and complexity of the design,” Root said about the advantages of the new model. “The vision was to have a unit that could respond to two trauma calls in a row before returning to the station to restock and to reduce the amount of redundant or rarely used equipment.”
The new aid cars were a collaborative effort with several departments to standardized design, and as a result realize some significant cost savings. Renton RFA and Enumclaw Fire also were involved in the design and purchase. Both agencies are part of the fire garage consortium. Those departments also bought new aid cars, which saved Puget Sound Fire, Renton and Enumclaw about $14,000 on each car because of the group purchase, Root said.
Each department is responsible for the purchase of their own equipment but the saving comes when this can be leveraged with multiple departments coordinating a design/purchase at the same time, Root said.
In late 2019, Puget Sound Fire added two new engines, one in Kent and one in SeaTac. Each engine cost about $618,000 and replaced engines that were 18 years old. Puget Sound Fire puts money in its capital budget to pay for new vehicles.