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Hanska Fire Department works hard to make upgrades and save money


This pickup and tanker truck are two of the three vehicles the Hanska Fire Department has acquired through surplus programs with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the military, which the firefighters later refurbished for their own use. 
 
During October, when many cities salute their fire departments for Fire Prevention Week, it seems appropriate to salute the Hanska Fire Department for their hard work to upgrade equipment at a low price by taking advantage of programs available to those who are willing to go the extra mile.
The vigilance of Fire Chief Cory Fischer and firefighter Adam Suess is credited for the department being able to find "good deals" on vehicles through programs that sell used equipment from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the military.
Vigilance is necessary because, as newly available equipment is listed, it can be snapped up in a matter of hours.
Last year, the department was able to replace an old vehicle with a 2003 DNR pickup. This has become the new "grass rig" after the firefighters added a pump and 200-gallon water tank in the bed of the truck. The tank is made of a composite material so it won’t rust like a metal tank will.
The equipment was mounted on a skid that can be removed after the grass fire season is over, so that the ice rescue equipment can be loaded  in the back for the winter.
Of the $12,000 cost for the new grass rig, the department will be able to pay $5,000 with a grant from the DNR and $4,000 from selling two winches that were taken off the used tanker trucks recently acquired through DNR and military surplus programs.
These two trucks – one with 2,000 miles and one with only 240 miles on the odometer – cost the department under $10,000. Compare that to the cost of a new tanker at around $175,000!

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