PARADISE, Calif. – Paradise City Council voted unanimously to approve three public safety items on its agenda Tuesday night. One of them included the purchase of a new fire truck.
The new engine will be installed at Station 82 off Pearson Rd. It will replace an engine that is 20 years old.
“You have a pumping station, an engine, a transmission, gearboxes, you have pumps and if any of them fail you endanger the lives of not only the public but also the firefighters “said Chris Nicoletti, Paradise Fleet Supervisor. “If you’re running 2002 equipment, it’s almost impossible to know for sure that every part of that engine is perfectly maintained.”
The old engine will be similar to one already in use at Paradise Fire Station 81. The city says it should arrive within the next 8 to 12 months. After that, every engine in Paradise will be less than 5 years old.
“With the newest fleet in Butte County and the latest and greatest equipment, we will be best prepared to protect this town in the event of an emergency,” Nicoletti said.
Having new engines is a big change from Paradise just 6 years ago.
“When I came to Town of Paradise, we had engines from the 1980s,” Nicoletti said. “Our newest was a 2008 at the time and I came here around 2016.”
The city leases its fire engines and has earned more than $570,000 in the last two years combined. This money will cover the cost of the new engine as well as the half percent Measure B sales tax that was enacted four years ago for these purchases.
A new dispatch radio system for the Paradise Police Department was also approved. The city says it plans to hire dispatchers starting next year.
“I think we’ve probably learned our lesson,” said Camp Fire survivor Terry Taylor. “They’ll be better prepared than we were last time, but you can’t really prepare for a firestorm, it’s impossible. I think everyone did their best, really.”
Paradise Mayor Steve Crowder said the new dispatch center will be significantly improved and will enable communication across the county, which the city did not have before the campfire.
Paradise will also hold a special meeting Thursday night to discuss the projects that will be funded by the nearly $200 million in infrastructure grants the city received last month.