In 2019, Englewood hired 17 new firefighters/medics which expanded the department to 27 full-time firefighters. The department also has a number of vehicles in its fleet that need to be replaced. Stearns said that the city works with other fire departments in the area so exactly what will be purchased is still to be determined and will be selected based on need.
But, the department currently has a 1997 ladder truck, a 2000 pumper truck and two 2013 medics. Stearns noted that a ladder truck costs upwards of $1 million and other vehicles cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. She also said the turnaround from the time a city orders a vehicle to actually receiving it takes about a year.
Stearns said that if voters don’t pass the levy this November, the city would not get the new money and would also lose the money generated by the old levy. She said the city is committed to providing the best fire services no matter the outcome of the election.
“Safety is the most important job the city needs to provide to its residents, so police and fire is not an area that we are looking to cut,” Stearns said. “When someone calls 911 there has to be a medic to go.”
She said however to make up the difference, the cost of other areas of city services may need to be examined.