It’s Oshkosh!

Bids on a new Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Vehicle were opened on Thursday and it’s an Oshkosh. Coming in with a price tag of $609,178, the bid was $140,822 below the engineer’s estimate of $750,000.

“Delivery is still about twelve months away,” explained Stephanie Morgan. “ARFF equipment is put together one-at-a-time because of the unique design. Not every fire department orders one.”

Manufactured and equipped to deal with fuel and the exotic alloys associated with modern aircraft structures, the big truck tips the scales at 62,000 pounds.

“But don’t think that means the beast is a slouch,” said Stephanie. “Under the hood there’s a 697 horse V-8 engine producing 1,950 foot-pounds of torque. And with four-wheel-drive, she’ll climb a 50% grade. And it’s American made!” The truck will carry 1,500 gallons of water to mix with 210 gallons of foam.

The older, existing 1980s vintage ARFF truck will be kept and maintained to serve as a backup and provide us additional capability to handle the larger aircraft that regularly use the airport.

“Together, they represent our commitment to safety,” said Bill McCann, Jr., Chairman of the Airport Authority Board of Commissioners. “Nothing is more important.”

Upon arrival, the new truck will have a new station to call home. Bids were also opened Thursday on the Airport Operations Building (AOP). Engineers were still reviewing them as of this writing. They did, however, note there is at least one responsive bidder and it too, came in below engineer’s estimate also. Funding for both comes from Federal Aviation Administration grants.

The Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport provides quick, cost-effective, convenient air service for North Central Idaho, Southeastern Washington, and Northeastern Oregon. Daily flights are available to Seattle, Boise, and Salt Lake City with connections anywhere in the world.