HANFORD - The Hanford Fire Department will soon have two brand new fire engines to retire its aging reserve vehicles, thanks to federal grant funds.

Hanford fire Chief Tim Ieronimo said $495,999 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds will be used to purchase a new fire engine for Fire Station 2.

"It's replacing an engine that's over 22 years old," Ieronimo said. "The reliability and the reduced maintenance of the new vehicle is going to make it an asset."

The grant funds will also free up additional money that the department had been saving to replace the engine at Fire Station 1, which is 25 years old. Ieronimo said the department currently budgets to replace vehicles every 25 years, an interval he said needs to be shortened to address the growing number of calls for service the department now receives.

"That was the plan," Ieronimo said. "The engine we're using the Community Development Block Grant money for is only 22 years old. It didn't even make it to 25 years."

Once the department has the new engines, they will replace the current front-line vehicles, which will be relegated to reserves.

Ieronimo said CDBG funds could be used to assist the department in the future. He said they were previously used about six years ago to assist with the design of Fire Station 4. Unfortunately, the declining economy precluded the construction of even a third station.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2458 or by email at meiman@HanfordSentinel.com.

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