The Newark Department of Public Safety is upgrading its fire vehicle fleet, while also preparing for future winter storms. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says the new trucks are a cost-effective investment in the city’s public safety and public works departments.
“Three custom 110-foot aerial ladder trucks, seven hazmat fire vehicles, eleven sanitation dump trucks, and nine street sweepers. The sanitation trucks are equipped with snow plows in the front of them, thank god,” Baraka said.
Outside agencies have been doing a lot of the work for Newark like street sweeping and snow plowing. Newark Department of Public Works Director Khalif Thomas says the city owned trucks are a better resource.
“On average we spend over the course of a year with vendors that handle out snow is roughly around five million dollars,” Thomas said. “With this new equipment we will be able to cut services and have our guys do more of the work, which means we won’t need so many vendors. The street sweeping, we should save roughly three to four million dollars.”
The three 110-foot aerial ladder fire trucks will deploy from the city’s central, west, and south wards.
“These three ladders, they are well equipped and able to reach higher heights which will assist us in access to the high-rise buildings and the future high-rise buildings that are here to come,” said Newark Fire Division Chief Rufus Jackson.
Newark Department of Public Safety director Anthony Ambrose says the fire division was due for an upgrade.
“It’s probably been since 2009 that equipment was purchased. I think this needs to happen on a continuous basis. The fire department does an excellent job and the people rely on it. So, we needed the equipment, updated equipment.”