1989 Rainbow VFD engine put up for auction

What had been the oldest fire engine in the Rainbow Volunteer Fire Department’s fleet is now being bid upon on an online auction site.

Bids will close Jan. 21 on the 1989 Ford C8000 Type 1 Engine. Administrative matters for the Rainbow Volunteer Fire Department are handled by the North County Fire Protection District, which has a separate budget for Rainbow, and on Dec. 11 the NCFPD board declared the engine as surplus and authorized staff to dispose of the engine using approved methods.

“It’s served its purpose,” said Rainbow VFD assistant fire chief Rick Moramarco.

“We basically replaced it with a newer, more up-to-date engine that has some more advanced features,” Moramarco said. “We don’t have a use for it or a place to keep it.”

The North County Fire Protection District was created in 1986 with the merger of the Fallbrook Fire Protection District and County Service Area No. 7, which provided fire protection to Rainbow; the merger also added the previously un-served Gavilan Mountain area to the newly-created NCFPD. CSA No. 7 was formed in the 1960s, and the CSA received a portion of property tax revenue. That property tax revenue was retained after the merger, and the Rainbow Volunteer Fire Department uses it to replace engines or other equipment when needed.

“We put something away every year,” Moramarco said. “When we need to, there’s money that can replace equipment.”

The area also had a benefit fee in the 1980s and used revenue from that to purchase four fire engines. The 1989 engine up for auction was the last of those four engines to be acquired.

“I actually drove that truck from New York where it was built to Rainbow back in 1989,” Moramarco said.

The expected service life of the engine was 20 years. “We ended up using it more than we originally planned,” Moramarco said.

The other three engines purchased in the 1980s are no longer with the fire department.

“This is the last of those vehicles. We’ve replaced the other ones over the last 10 years,” Moramarco said.

The Rainbow department used the accumulated tax revenue to purchase a new Pierce type 1 engine in 2012. The 1989 engine can carry three firefighters while six firemen can ride on the 2012 apparatus. The new engine also has a bigger pump and more capacity for equipment.

“We can actually do the job of two trucks with this one, the new one,” Moramarco said.

The money received for the 1989 engine, minus any costs associated with the disposal, will be placed in the Rainbow reserve fund.

“It will most likely end up replacing another truck one day,” Moramarco said.

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