Council voted to purchase the pumper using money from the 2014 budget. Councilman Tom Seiss abstained from the vote. Volunteers from the fire company celebrated with high-fives after the vote at the end of the meeting.
New fire Chief Sean McDyer said they had their doubts they’d get the desperately needed engine. Nonetheless, they remained optimistic.
The money for a new fire engine was allocated in the 2013 budget, but the previous council never took formal action to make the purchase.
Former fire Chief Charles Bodogh Jr. crusaded for the new engine for months to no avail. The fire company has raised a fraction of the money for the purchase but asked the borough to fund the rest. He said the most recent estimate for the Pierce pumper was just over $525,000.
Some council members previously wanted to repair an old truck and explore shared services with neighboring departments. Since then, Pohatcong Township Council purchased a new pumper and Greenwich Township‘s committee bought a used aerial platform truck.
The broken-down truck has been repaired to serve the company until the new truck is built, McDyer said. That takes about eight to nine months.
The new truck will have shoulder seat belts instead of only lap belts, and eight firefighters will be able to fit inside instead of the current five, McDyer said. More volunteers will be able to respond to calls, meaning fewer personal vehicles will be at the scene, he said.
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