Members of the district, the department and the general public witnessed the new Tower 4 as it arrived in Adams today for a test fit before leaving for SVI for additional calibration and fitting out. The truck was slowly backed into its bay while the dealer rep and fire department personnel kept a close eye on the top of the door, the newly cut beam, the sides of the door and the undercarriage of the apparatus. Everything cleared by at least 3 inches, and for a short time, the truck was home. After the camera system is calibrated and additional tools and electronics are mounted, a final inspection will occur at the dealer before the truck returns home to Adams for good. Once here, the department will have a period of training before all equipment is swapped over and the apparatus is placed in service.
By Jack Guerino
ADAMS, Mass. — The Adams Alerts Hose Company has a new leader in John Pansecchi, who was elected as chief engineer during the annual Fire District election on May 9.
Pansecchi, who has been on the Fire Department for 30 years, said taking the helm feels like a natural transition.
"It feels no different, and I have been assistant chief for 15 years so this was the next step in line," the new fire chief said. "If the former chief was ever away I would fill in, so I worked pretty closely with the last two chiefs."
Pansecchi replaced Fire Chief Paul Goyette, who officially turned over the department on May 9. Goyette spent nearly 40 years with the company and had been chief since 2011.
Pansecchi said he plans to run the company like it has been run in the past and continue to train hard.
"We have a great bunch of guys and we will continue to train hard and try to advance," he said. "That won't change."
Pansecchi said his biggest concern and charge is recruitment. He said volunteer fire departments have seen decreasing numbers over the past few years and that problem is finally "rearing its ugly head" in Adams.
"Recruitment and retention is a problem across the country and it is no different here and I want to put a big effort into that," Pansecchi said. "We are probably at the lowest number of members since I have been here."
He added that it is hard to replace veteran members like Goyette, who have years of experience.
"It's tough we lost some good firemen the last couple of years. This is volunteer and other commitments come up," he said. "When you lose members, who have 20 to 30 years' experience, it is a hit. They are trained and experienced and it takes a while to get that back, but we have to look forward."
The annual election drew 287 voters from the Fire District. Timothy Ziemba was elected as first assistant engineer, David Lennon Jr. as second assistant engineer, Edward Capeless as third assistant engineer and Mark Therrien as fourth assistant engineer.
Kathleen Fletcher was re-elected as water district clerk and treasurer and Norman Schutz was elected to the Prudential Committee.
After a weeks of preparing, the application to the Assistance to Firefighters Grant was filed November 25, 2014.. Now, almost 2 1/2 years later, the long awaited payoff is on its way to Adams. Tower 4 left the factory in Holden, Louisiana today at 2:30pm. When it arrives later this week, it will be test fit into a heavily modified bay altered to accomodate it. If all goes well, after a short trip to the dealer SVI for tool and radio mounting, the new truck will return home to stay and begin its service to Adams. We'll post more pictures when it arrives, but for now check out the delivery photos and all of the pictures of its construction HERE.
Courtesy of iBerkshires
By Staff Reporters
ADAMS, Mass. — A relaxing hot tub soak could have turned into a tragedy on Wednesday night when the unit's motor malfunctioned.
Firefighters responded to what was reported as an electrical problem with a hot tub about 9:24 p.m. The quick response of a relative of the homeowner, who also happens to be an assistant fire chief, is credited with keeping it under control.
"He got here quick. By the time he got here, he had fire showing in the cellar around the hot tub, around all the wood that contained the hot tub," said Fire Chief Paul Goyette.
The owners had seen smoke but at first thought it was steam coming off the water, he said. When they realized it was a fire, they immediately put in the call.
It took about four fire extinguishers and 50 gallons of water to completely douse the blaze. There was some difficulty in venting the smoke, which continued to spill from the single family home for about an hour.
"It was a good knockdown," Goyette said.
Despite the small size of the blaze, a full contingent was one scene, including equipment and personnel from the Forest Wardens, Cheshire and Savoy. Narrow Walling Road lies outside the Fire District and Goyette said he wanted the right equipment on hand.
"There's no hydrants, so that's why I called for tanker and I would have called for more if it was worse," he said.
Adams Police and Adams Ambulance Service also responded. There was minimal water damage to the house.
"The hot tub is totaled, it will never be used again," Goyette said, adding jokingly, "nor would they want to put another one in there."
Not everything in the fire service gets replaced with newer and better. Sometimes older is better.
When the 1976 Maxim was retired, the Federal Q siren mounted on the front fender found a new home on the new, 2008 E-One engine’s bumper. However, the Maxim’s bell, the traditional signaling device on old fire engines, did not get the same upgrade. It was removed and placed under the work bench in the crib at the back of the station where it would remain untouched.
In 2012, the company lost longtime firefighter Joe Dean, Jr. At his funeral, the company had used a bell borrowed from another department to render final honors by striking the four fives. Thought was given to creating our own bell for memorials, but as with many things in the fire house, things were busy and the idea languished.
In 2013, as the department’s oldest piece of apparatus was getting ready to be replaced with a new Ford, members began striping the old 1948 Chevrolet. Amongst the bits and pieces removed was another old bell and an old Sterling siren. Older members will recall the almost embarrassingly slow wind up of the old siren. And besides not sounding great, it looked horrible. It was buried deep in the recesses of the engine. The original bezel and light on the front was missing. The original shiny finish was covered in blobs of dull black paint. But we thought that this old siren could, with a little work, be the mechanical siren that Engine 1, the KME was missing.
With an increased sense of motivation, a group consisting of Andy Gigliotii, Steve Mezcywor, Dana Labee and Dave Lennon got working on rehabbing the old siren and on creating a memorial bell using one of the two old vehicle bells now available under the bench. It was decided that the bell from the Maxim was the most suitable for mounting on a wood base. Steve Mezcywor designed and assembled the base out of oak. Andy Gigliotti got the support powder coated and Dave Lennon polished the metalwork and stained and finished the base. After adding the commemorative and dedication plaques, the bell was finished and is now part of every Firefighter Sunday service.
Meanwhile, the old siren was more of a challenge. While the siren is a 12v siren, the Chevy ran a 6v system. This explains the sirens SLOW windup on that truck. Besides missing parts, the cover was severely dented and it was caked in old black paint meant to make it less visible. While striping the 3 coats of paint off the siren, it was discovered the the cover was actually copper. While it looked pretty cool after cleaning it up, it was decided that the most durable choice would be powder coating which Andy Gigliotti arranged. Andy also worked on the bearings and milled a replacement cowl to mate with a stainless steel perforated sheet screen. Dave Lennon worked on rewiring the old siren and with the help of Dana Labee, mounted the finished siren to the bumper of Engine 2 and added the required solenoid and switches. With the proper 12v power, the old girl is much quicker but she still takes a bit to get going. The sound when it does?...classic!
With the upcoming retirement of the 1988 Pierce ladder truck, perhaps there will be yet another opportunity to repurpose something from the past for the present.