Salem Purchases Fire Engines and Equipment with Safety and Livability Bond

Posted on April 2, 2023

Salem, Ore. — In March 2023, the City of Salem ordered Fire engines and life-saving equipment with proceeds from the voter-approved Safety and Livability Bond.  The new equipment will arrive in Salem and in service to our community as early as winter 2024 and no later than early 2025.  Salem’s first purchase with bond sale proceeds, secured $19.89 million in fire trucks and equipment, including:

  • 16 fire engines
  • 2 ladder trucks
  • 1 heavy rescue vehicle
  • 1 air rescue vehicle
  • 2 wildland fire engines
  • 2 ambulances
  • 1 aircraft rescue and firefighting truck

“We are so pleased to have all 16 fire trucks and other essential life-saving emergency equipment purchased and on their way to our community,” said Mayor Chris Hoy.  “This is a key first step in fulfilling our commitment to voters.  This purchase ensures that we can continue to get to people when they need us most – for years to come.”

In the 2022 voter-approved Salem Safety and Livability bond, $26 million was envisioned to replace 15 year old fire engines, ladder trucks, and other equipment to save lives.  The remaining nearly $7 million of funds for fire trucks and equipment will be used to purchase additional equipment spelled out in the bond measure including: command vehicles, tow rigs, trailers, and other rescue tools like the “jaws of life” and defibrillators.

“It is such a relief to be able to make this purchase,” Chief Niblock said. “Replacing our fleet was critical for us to continue to serve and respond to our community and they stepped up for us. The members of the Salem Fire Department are very appreciative of this support”.

Salem’s Bond Oversight Committee meets monthly to consider progress on Salem’s safety and livability bond.  Membership of the Committee includes Mayor Chris Hoy, Councilors Stapleton and Varney, community members Bob Cortright and Mike Herron.  Councilor Nishioka serves as an alternate.  Bond Oversight Committee meetings are streamed live to Salem’s public meeting channel on YouTube.

The City plans to deliver a steady stream of projects over the next ten years out of Salem’s safety and livability measure, passed by voters in November 2022.  In addition to fire trucks and equipment, the bond includes investments in Salem’s streets, sidewalks, parks, two new fire stations to improve response times, affordable housing, purchase of sites for affordable housing and branch libraries, cybersecurity for City operations, and Civic Center seismic improvements.  Because payments for existing bonds are decreasing in the future, and refinancing opportunities, the measure is not expected to increase Salem’s bond tax rate above the current rate of $1.20/$1,000 of assessed value.

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