By Phil Demers, North Adams Transcript
Posted: 05/08/2013 10:39:08 AM EDT
ADAMS -- The Alert Hose Co. celebrated its new, $160,000 air truck Tuesday anticipating "Truck 3" will soon be on the road.
The vehicle, a 2013 Ford F550, replaces a 1948 Chevrolet and counts as a marked safety improvement. It was "a long time coming," said Fire Chief Paul Goyette.
"The primary purpose of this vehicle is to have an on-site air supply for our SCBAs (self-contained breathing apparatuses) and to carry our rope rescue and water rescue equipment," Goyette said. "It'll get us [to fires] in a much safer, quicker fashion, and surrounding communities will benefit when we respond on mutual aid. ... It's going to bring us to another level."
It will respond to all structure fires and any rope or water rescue situations, he said.
Goyette said Adams firefighters are learning the vehicle at present.
"I like the system, it's easier to explain to the guys," said firefighter John Pansecchi. "It's only going to benefit our ability to do our jobs. I think we're definitely ready in the case of any major fire incident."
Concerns over the old vehicle had mounted over time, Pansecchi added.
"We've worried, with the ‘48, about something happening, someone getting hurt" he said. "So the new vehicle meets a safety need that was becoming more and more pressing."
In addition to air, the new truck will also bring a generator and "much-needed lighting" to the scene of fires, Goyette said. The expected lifetime is 25-to-30 years.
The new truck's arrival dovetails with a $43,000 grant received by the Alert Hose Co. in March, which covered the cost of a new air compressor to compliment it. These funds were provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant program.
Goyette said the 1948 Chevrolet, after a full life of service to the town, still has a future.
Bidding on the vehicle, which could attract collectors, begins May 22. Goyette said he's already spoken to four definite bidders.
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