Scott County lends Ellis County a fire truck


By JONATHAN ZWEYGARDT
Hays Post

Fire departments in western Kansas rely on each other for
not only help responding to fires and emergencies but also for training and
equipment.

After an Ellis County fire truck recently broke down, the Scott
County Fire Department stepped in to lend a hand.

Ellis County Fire Chief Darin Myers said while on a call
north of Hays, a pump on Engine 50 failed. The cost of a new pump is more than
$25,000 not including the labor and cost of other parts needed to fix the more
than 26-year-old system.

Myers said they estimate the 1995 Ford pumper truck used to
fight structure fires, which is slated for a replacement this year, was worth
between $5,000 and $10,000.

“It would be an immediate loss to put money into the truck
and then it’s budgeted to be replaced anyway,” Myers. “We wouldn’t get the
money back out of it when we sold it.”

Myer said one of the current company chiefs in Hays used to
be on the Scott County Fire Department and, after discussing the situation with
current members of the Scott County department, they offered to loan Ellis
County a truck.

Myers said they were already in the process of designing the
new truck, but that process takes some time.

“When you design a fire truck, it’s not like buying a new
vehicle,” Myers said. “It’s a several-month process and it’s government
purchasing so there’s a process you have to follow.

Ellis County will
lease the truck until the new one arrives which is scheduled for May 2022.

As part of the arrangement, Ellis County replaced an auxiliary
pump on the Scott County truck used to fight grass fires. Ellis County had an
extra one that they agreed to give Scott County.

Members of both departments earlier this year got together
and worked on the truck and transferred Ellis County’s equipment to the
Scott County truck.

Myers said they are also going to replace all the supply
hose on the truck, and Ellis County will also give Scott County all of the hose
currently on the truck.

Later this year, members of the Ellis County department will
also travel to Scott County for a water supply training event.

Myers celebrated the two counties’ efforts to work together
and said these types of partnerships are, “one of the greatest things I love
about my job.”

“This is just another great example of the fire service. When we need something, we all help each other out,” Myers said.



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