The Commerce Journal

January 20, 2014

New truck replaces aging Commerce fire engine

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — The Commerce Fire Department received a large red Christmas present late last year.

The department recently purchased a fire truck that was received on Dec. 23, replacing a 17-year-old truck Commerce Fire Chief Jack Berni said was in dire need of replacing.

“We had a lot of mainenance issues with that one,” he said. “We traded it in for this one.”

The department purchased the truck from Ferrara Fire Apparatus, located in Holden, La.

Berni said the negotiation process was simple and he is very pleased with the new truck.

“We took bids and they were real easy to work with,” he said. “We are very pleased with it.”

Ferrara specializes in custom built trucks, and Berni said the department had a big say in how the truck would fit fighting fires in the Commerce and Hunt County area.

“We designed the specifications,” he said. “We put all the stuff we need in there. The old truck couldn’t carry everything we needed for it.”

Instead of swing doors that hold equipment, the new truck has roll up doors for quick acces when parked in tight areas.

The new truck is also an improvement on the lighting system.

According to Berni, the truck has an LED lighting system that will save on energy and the truck’s alternator, something which is a problem on the older model trucks.

Berni said another plus to the truck is that Commerce is able to keep its current Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating of 3.

“That puts us in the top five percent in the United States,” he said. “Something we’re very pleased with.”

Berni said he is thankful for the continued funding from the city of Commerce.

“We are always pleased that the local government takes public safety very seriously,” he said. “And it shows.”