Sandy Springs will spend about $4.3 million to revamp its fire truck fleet with smaller, more nimble vehicles in a combination of purchase and trade-in.

At the Feb. 20 City Council meeting where the purchase was approved, Fire Rescue Chief Keith Sanders said most of the current fleet vehicles are too large to move easily through congested traffic and can’t fit in some apartment complexes. The weight of trucks also increases maintenance costs, he said.

The purchase from truck-maker Pierce includes three pumpers and three “aerials,” or ladder trucks, which will take 13 months to be built and delivered. The department’s three current aerial trucks will be traded in for about $1.4 million. Two existing pumpers will remain in the fleet, and another new one is already on order and expected to start serving the panhandle area this month.

That panhandle truck is currently housed at a Roswell fire station in a joint operation deal. Sanders said at the City Council’s Jan. 23 retreat that he and City Manager John McDonough are looking at purchasing a residential property somewhere in the panhandle to convert into a fire station.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.