The Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors unanimously approved the roughly $25,000 purchase of a new administrative truck Jan. 13, after Chief Brian Hendricks explained that the previous one was totaled in a wreck Jan. 8 on northbound Interstate 270 and Gravois Road.
“One of our maintenance guys who was involved in the accident was not hurt too terribly bad. They’re a little beat up, but he’s OK,” said Hendricks. “We have heard from AAA and the vehicle is officially totaled.”
The 2009 Chevrolet pickup truck was used to “move a multitude of things around the district” and was also used as the primary plow vehicle for snow removal and spreading salt, Hendricks noted.
The insurance company is offering a reimbursement around $14,756 for the totaled truck, although Hendricks said that the district’s legal counsel was going to look into all of its options.
The district had three options to replace the truck: The first two, either Chevys or Fords on state bid, would have taken months to deliver. The board chose to buy a Ford F-250 pickup truck that was immediately available from a dealership in Columbia, Missouri.
The truck cost $39,343, offset by the insurance payout of $14,756, leading to the district paying $24,587. Mounting the snow plow and retrofitting the truck costs an additional $2,300.
“We’re pretty much just replacing what we had, just a Ford instead of a Chevy. It’s white in color instead of red,” said Hendricks. “Because of the need that we have for this vehicle … it’s an integral part of day-to-day operations as well as dealing with our snow and our ice. … We’re lucky we have this vehicle that we can purchase.”
At the next meeting Jan. 27, Hendricks noted that the first snows of the year had the district using the new truck at firehouses that day. With several snows the last few weeks, the truck has stayed busy.