Alpha (NJ) Adds Fire Apparatus

The Alpha Volunteer Fire Co.  is expected to soon place into service a new fire truck — its first in 11 years.

The 2015 Pierce Impel engine will replace a Mack engine that’s been in use for 33 years, said Fire Chief Sean McDyer. The new truck cost about $525,000.

The company has about 35 to 40 active volunteers on its roster. It took delivery of the new truck in early September.

Since then, firefighters have been outfitting the truck and customizing it to their needs and specifications, McDyer said. That included equipping it with radio gear and installing mounting equipment and brackets to hold firefighting tools, he said.

Alpha has a three-vehicle fleet at its Lee Avenue station — two engines and a ladder truck.

Besides enhancing firefighting, McDyer said, the new truck improves safety for volunteers.

The old engine had seating for five people, including three in a half-open cab. The new truck seats eight and the cab is equipped with air bags and safety belts for all passengers, McDyer said.

The truck has a 1,250-gallon water tank — larger than the old one — and an on-board foam system for fire suppression.

Getting the new truck didn’t come easy. Borough officials disagreed for months on buying it. Some wanted to repair an old truck or explore shared services with other fire departments.

Ultimately, council approved the purchase early in 2014.

McDyer said the fire company raised about $100,000 for the new truck and the borough borrowed to pay the rest.

The fire company raised the money through dinners, bingo, coin tosses and donation letters sent to residents, McDyer said.

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