The lineup of fire trucks on Avenida Segunda Sunday was a $5.3 million display, officials said.
The 22 new fire trucks are the result of a new 1.75 percent tax on electric bills. That gave the fire fighters enough leverage in their new budget to make the purchases. Officials were quick to point out that this is the first time in history so many vehicles were purchased at once.
The Cuerpo de Bomberos, both paid fire fighters and volunteers, turned out in force to show off the new machines.
The fire-fighting agency was facing uncertainty with
the opening of the insurance market. In the past, the fire agency was part of and received its money from the Instituto Nacional de Seguros. Although there still is a close relationship with the national insurance company, the new tax gives the Bomberos independence.
The trucks are only one aspect of the electrical tax at work. The fire agency has been opening new stations in areas of the country that have been unsafe distances from where the fire trucks were kept in the past. In all, the Cuerpo de Bomberos will open more than 30 new stations with money that the tax generates.
And those new stations will need even more fire trucks.