The Fall River City Council approved a $5 million dollar federal loan Tuesday night that will allow the Fall River Fire Department to aquire 3 new engines, 2 ladder trucks, a command center and other gear.

District Fire Chief Ambrose Smith tells NBC10 this will go a long way towards replacing equipment that has outlived its usefulness.

"It's a Godsend for our department," said Smith "it's just like your own car. If your car gets to be 20 years old, you have a lot more breakdowns than if a car's 2 or 3 years old."

Fire Chief James Mellen echoed that sentiment saying that for too long the city has had to rely on second hand equipment.

"We've actually bought apparatus that other communities were letting go, getting rid of," said Mellen "we've bought them at a greatly reduced rate, and put them in as a front-line apparatus."

Mayor Jasiel Correia said the upgrades are being paid for with federal funds during the next 20 years and that they will do a great deal to improve safety for city residents.

"A 30-year-old engine (is) way past the useful life," said Correia "so, to get brand new equipment -- modern equipment -- it's going to make their jobs better, easier, safer, and it's going to deliver a better quality of service to our residents."

The mayor said the funds will be used over a 20 year period and can only be used in low-income areas due to federal regulations.