ROY -- The fire department has had a rough six months with its vehicles. An ambulance, paramedic truck and two fire trucks have had issues. Earlier this week, the city council voted to allocate an additional $26,000 to the department to help make the repairs.
Luckily, the city had some revenue accounts it could pull the money from to give to the department.
"I feel very blessed that the city recognizes that public safety is an important issue," Fire Chief Jon Ritchie said. "We have had a run of bad luck."
He said it's rare to have problems with so many of the vehicles.
Especially unusual was a recent incident involving a reserve ambulance. It was on a call and the motor caught fire. It has since been repaired.
The fire engine bought in 2000 lost a fan, and then there were issues with the radiator.
Ritchie wanted to get that repair made right away, as that engine isn't up for replacement until 2015.
One of the rungs bent on the ladder on the ladder truck.
"Those can be finicky," Ritchie said.
Ritchie knows repairs are an ongoing thing, and it is often a game of shuffling between using back-up vehicles and newer vehicles while others are being repaired. But he said having issues with nearly all the vehicles in a six-month time frame is very rare.
City Finance Director Cathy Spencer said vehicle repair is normal, but it is always good to be able to allocate a little more money to the aging fire vehicle fleet.
"You still have unexpected things happen," she said.
City Manager Chris Davis noted repairs can be more extensive. "When you're replacing fire equipment," he said, "it's not like you're replacing an alternator on your car."
One of the paramedic trucks just received a new body, courtesy of Weber County, which has a contract with Roy to repair and maintain the paramedic vehicles.
Ritchie said he hasn't had to alter his usual vehicle-repair schedule because of the poor economy, for which he feels very lucky. Things are still in line, he said -- it was just a weird set of circumstances as of late.
"We are hard on our vehicles, because we use them like they are supposed to be used," he said, noting that vehicles sometimes have to go from 0 mph to 60 mph in a matter of seconds.
"Ninety-nine percent of these things have been out of our control," he said of the repair issues.
Ritchie said he's just glad he can fix things and still be prepared for other problems that could come up before budget time again in six months.
"As city fathers and management, we work together to make sure things are running the way they should be."