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Plant Cranking Out Fire Trucks & Ambulances Due to Improved Economy

BRADENTON, Fla. -- In bright red with white stripes, the new fire engine being assembled for Heber Springs, Ark., is a shining thing of beauty. Across Oshkosh Corp.'s truck plant in Bradenton, an equally brilliant red-and-yellow ambulance, with a pair of dice emblazoned on its side, is being readied for paramedics in Las Vegas, part of a fleet being built to order.

Crimped by lower tax collections since the onset of the Great Recession, municipalities like Heber Springs -- population 7,200 -- have been holding off on major purchases like fire trucks and rescue vehicles, which typically cost $200,000 to $500,000 apiece.

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