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Lake Saint Louis FPD forced to borrow fire trucks

The Lake Saint Louis Fire Protection District’s three fire trucks are out of service, prompting the district to borrow a truck from a neighboring fire protection district.

Fire Chief Clinton Gussner said on June 16 that the district’s two active trucks, along with a reserve truck, are out of service because of mechanical problems and no working air conditioning. The Wentzville Fire Protection District has loaned Lake Saint Louis an extra truck.

Because the trucks are old, it may take “eight to 10 weeks” to find and have replacement parts installed at a cost several thousand dollars, Gussner said. Two of the district’s fire trucks are 18 years old; the reserve truck is 25 years old.

During hot weather, the lack of air conditioning can be dangerous to firefighters dressed in fire equipment, Gussner said. He added that temperatures recently reached 105 degrees inside the cab of the trucks and firefighters need air conditioning to cool off and avoid heat-related injuries.

The truck breakdowns come at a time when the district faces mounting financial problems.

Voters are being asked to approve two propositions on the Aug. 2 ballot: an $8 million bond issue and an 18-cent tax increase to help pay off debt, acquire new equipment and hire more firefighters.

The district also wants to close one of the district’s two existing stations and possibly build a new station. The two existing stations are at 2533 Lake Saint Louis Blvd. and at 26 South Ellerman Road.

Gussner said the breakdowns will have no effect on response to emergency calls as both Wentzville and O’Fallon fire districts are assisting with responding to calls.

The district serves a 7- square-mile area largely within the original boundaries of the city and about 12,000 people.

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