Off-road engine added to fire department’s fleet

A 2009 KME Type 3 engine recently arrived at the Watsonville Fire Department. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — The Watsonville Fire Department recently purchased an off-road fire engine, and at a drastically reduced price.

According to Fire Chief Pablo Barreto, the fire department purchased the 2009 KME Type 3 engine from the Santa Clara Fire Department through a planned replacement program at a price of $35,000. Typically, such engines go for about $425,000.

With only about 40,000 miles on the odometer, the engine is in near-new condition.

“This is a huge benefit for our department and our neighboring communities,” Barreto said.

The engine, purchased with Measure G funds, is designed to attack fires that are raging off-road, such as on slough trails and farm roads, where other engines cannot reach. It will also be sent out to future wildfires across the state, and the fire department would get reimbursed for such mutual aid responses.

According to Barreto, the Watsonville Fire Department hasn’t had a Type 3 engine for about 15 years.

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