The Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District (SCSFD) has purchased a pair of 2008 model Pierce Contender fire engines to replace aging equipment at the fire stations located in Squaw Creek Canyon Estates and Camp Sherman.

The engines in those stations are 25 and 35 years old, respectively. The “new” engines were purchased through Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus, a used fire apparatus dealership based in Alabama, for a cost of $155,000 each.

“The decision to search the used market for these engines was made due to multiple factors — the most important factor was maintaining fiscal responsibility,” said Tim Craig, deputy chief of operations. If the same engines were purchased new, the cost would be in the neighborhood of a half-million dollars each. Both of these stations are critical to our operations, but they don’t have a high call volume, so it’s hard to justify the cost of brand-new fire engines. By purchasing used engines, we are able to work within our operating budget while maintaining good quality, safe fire apparatus that will meet our needs into the future.”

Both of the stations receiving these engines are staffed by dedicated community volunteers.

According to Brett Miller, a Camp Sherman volunteer firefighter, “I truly believe it is a testament to the department and its investment into its community and members.”

Volunteer Station Captain Steve Ward, from the Squaw Creek Canyon Estates fire station, said, “The new engines will give us more water on scene, better mechanical reliability, quicker response to emergency calls, and an increased ability to operate on emergency scenes.”

The new engines bring additional capabilities that the old engines did not have before. They have larger fire pumps and, in the case of the Squaw Creek Canyon Estates engine, increased water carrying capacity. Additionally, the two new engines are very similar in construction to the engines that operate out of the main fire station in Sisters.

The replacement engines, built by Pierce Manufacturing, were purchased new by the Natchitoches Fire Department in Louisiana. Staff members from SCSFD traveled to Louisiana to inspect the engines in their original home station and spoke with maintenance and operations staff prior to the purchase to ensure that the engines were well cared for. SCSFD has a fleet of four additional Pierce trucks, including two water tenders and two fire engines. The addition of the two Contenders means that the vast majority of the District’s large apparatus are from the same manufacturer, leading to increased efficiency in maintenance, training, operation and safety.

The first engine was placed into service on Saturday, November 23 in Squaw Creek Canyon Estates. The second engine, for Camp Sherman, will come online in the next two weeks as the District transitions hose and equipment from the old engines to the new ones.