The Westerville fire truck involved in a traffic accident Aug. 14 has been deemed a total loss by the city's insurance company and will need to be replaced, Westerville Fire Chief Bernie Ingles said.

The Westerville fire truck involved in a traffic accident Aug. 14 has been deemed a total loss by the city's insurance company and will need to be replaced, Westerville Fire Chief Bernie Ingles said.

The city will be awarded around $221,000, the cost of replacing the 1996 truck, but Ingles said the department will look to purchase a new unit since the truck was scheduled to be replaced in 2011.

A new truck will cost between $400,000 and $440,000, with the balance of the cost coming out of the division of fire's budget, Ingles said. That will not have a long-term effect on the budget because money was set aside to replace the truck in two years, he said.

"It's just a matter of moving it up a couple of years. It doesn't really affect our budget, our five-year forecast," Ingles said.

To save money and help the division get the truck sooner, Ingles said the city will try to purchase a demonstration unit or another unit a company already has in stock.

The truck will include a few new features the totaled truck didn't have, such as the ability to carry fire-extinguishing foam and rear-view cameras.

The 1996 truck was damaged Aug. 14 on Westerville Road near Minerva Park while responding to a call in Blendon Township.

According to Columbus police, the fire truck was northbound with its sirens and lights on. A southbound car pulled over and stopped to allow the truck to pass, but a tow truck following the vehicle didn't see the car stop and swerved into the fire truck's path to avoid hitting the car.

The fire truck then went off the road, hit a ditch and flipped onto its side. The three firefighters inside, who were wearing seatbelts, suffered only minor bumps and bruises.

The division of fire has been borrowing a fire truck since then from the Orange Township Fire Department through the departments' mutual aid agreement.

With the damaged truck out of service and another of the city's trucks sent out to be refurbished, Ingles said the department is eager to get a permanent replacement.

"We need to get one back in service," he said.

Westerville City Council will need to approve the purchase of a new truck. Ingles said he plans to introduce a purchase proposal to the council at its Oct. 6 meeting, with hopes of being able to purchase a truck by the end of the month.

Once purchased, a truck already in stock could be delivered quickly, Ingles said.

jnesbitt@thisweeknews.com