Mike Therrien and his pit crew successfully conquered Bosquet Mt. in Pittsfield Saturday, March 3rd. His Tower 4 themed sled won the 7th Annual Lazer 99.3 & 98.5 Cardboard Carnival powered by Coors Light in a time of 12.76 seconds. The run was so fast, it powered through the slow down area and into the haybales at the far end. The sled took some minor front end damage as a result but the crew will get it squared away in time for another event at Jiminy Peak in two weeks and the Mt. Snow Bud Light Duct Tape Derby at the end of the month. Check out the video of the run and a few pics below.
By Jack Guerino
ADAMS, Mass. — The Adams Volunteer Fire Department received its new custom ladder truck Friday.
"We have a great group of guys excited and ready to drive it," Fire Chief John Pansecchi said.
The new truck was purchased through the federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. Assistant Chief David Lennon, who wrote the grant, said the truck in total was just over $1 million but the $809,524 grant covered the lion's share of the purchase.
Lennon said the truck was custom built by Ferrara Fire Apparatus of Holden, La., and has a travel height of 10 feet.
"This truck is definitely custom made ... normally trucks this size have a travel height of 10 feet, 9 inches," he said. "They went way lower on this one and it went through some major engineering. There isn't another truck like it."
He added that part of the cost came from modifying the garage so the new truck could fit. He said the ceiling was notched and the floor was reinforced to hold the extra weight.
Lennon said the truck will replace the 1988 Pierce that is starting to show its age and is not compliant with current truck codes.
He said the truck is the fourth motorized ladder truck the department has owned and is the first platform ladder truck. It is the fourth platform ladder truck in Berkshire County.
Lennon said the grant was submitted in 2014 but it was worth the wait.
"It is a long process but to see something physically here is pretty amazing," Lennon said.
Pansecchi thanked former Chief Paul Goyette, who was instrumental in the grant process.
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.