Ashland Fire & Rescue received two new, half-million-dollar fire engines Monday to replace decades-old vehicles.
One structural engine will be placed at each of the two Ashland fire stations and will be the first response vehicle for all fires and motor vehicle collisions and some medical calls.
The engines cost $576,000 each and were purchased through the city of Ashland's equipment fund.
You can see one of Ashland Fire & Rescue's new engines during the annual Fourth of July parade, which starts at 10:15 a.m. Friday at Triangle Park and proceeds down to the Plaza. For complete details of Fourth of July events, see Revels in today's paper.
MORE ONLINE: The Daily Tidings will post photo galleries of the parade Friday afternoon. See them at www.dailytidings.com/photos
"It definitely generates some pride to have a nice dependable apparatus," said Fire Chief John Karns.
Karns said the old engines, which were manufactured in the early '90s, had become difficult and time-consuming to repair, causing them to remain out of service for longer periods of time.
The new engines will be much easier to maintain.
"The city shops are very happy," said Karns.
One of the old engines was sold to a small fire department in central California and the other is being donated to Ashland's sister city, Guanajuato, Mexico.
Karns said Guanajuato will cover transportation costs for the engine and likely will bring a flatbed truck to transport the vehicle.
The new engines will go into service in about 30 days, after equipment and radios have been transferred from the current engines, Karns said.
The new engines have more capacity and strength than the old engines, carrying 750 gallons of water and running on 500 horsepower engines.
Karns said the department had the previous engines for just over 20 years. Ashland Fire & Rescue responds annually to about 3,500 calls in a 650 square-mile area in and around Ashland.
Those hoping to catch a glimpse of the new vehicles can see one make its public debut during Friday's Fourth of July parade through downtown Ashland.
Teresa Ristow is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email her at email@example.com.