Tulsa International Airport To Auction Its Largest Fire Truck

Wednesday, June 22nd 2016, 6:42 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The Tulsa airport has put its main fire truck up for auction.

And after looking at ways to save money, the airport decided it wouldn't buy a replacement.

It's the last day in service for the fire truck at the airport. It's being sold off, and it won't be replaced.

The truck can hold 3,000 gallons of water.

It's the largest one at the airport fire station and the only one equipped with a snozzle - a tool that firefighters push into burning aircraft to shoot water inside.

But the government considers it to be at the end of its useful life, so it's being sold.

The airport's deputy director says even without it, the airport has enough firefighting capability.

“It's totally determined based on the size of the airplane that operates here at least five times a day and the length of that airplane,” TIA spokesperson Alexis Higgins said.

The airport, and ultimately taxpayers and passengers, pay the cost of fire protection on the airport grounds, so any savings in equipment and people eventually makes the airport more competitive.

The airport pays $1.8 million for the firefighters at Station 51.

“That's what led to the decision,” Higgins said. “We're trying to be efficient, watch costs across the board, and fire service was one of the places we thought we could improve.

The airport fire station has backup from the Air National Guard fire service, and a Tulsa fire station just outside the fence.

It's not uncommon for all of them respond when something significant happens on the airfield.

That's why airport figures the firefighting fleet that remains still can handle the job.