A 2,000 gallon 1986 tanker truck that will be used to provide critical water to fires in outlying areas of West Brookfield (MA) has been obtained at no cost.
Fire Chief Paul J. Lupacchino was able to acquire the apparatus after 18 months of inquiries. The part-time chief’s full-time job is at Westover Air Base in Chicopee where he was very familiar with the apparatus.
“I operated this truck until the base received an unexpected delivery of a new 2012, 4,000 gallon tanker-pumper that replaces this functioning piece of equipment,” Chief Lupacchino wrote in a recent letter to West Brookfield selectmen.
Ultimately, the chief was successful in obtaining the vehicle for his hometown department by agreeing to have the tanker placed on a state list, meaning it will be available for use by the state in the event of a major emergency in Massachusetts.
The chief said the apparatus has about 6,000 hours of use on it and that he expects the truck will go a hundred thousand hours.
It will be used as a rural water supply, providing critical water to fires in outlying areas beyond the town’s water system where regular hydrants cease to exist. Examples of such places are Shea Road, High View Campgrounds, Old North Brookfield Road, Route 9 at Coy Brook, Long Hill Road, Ragged Hill Road and Kennedy Road.
The lead primary fire vehicle to a fire in the outskirts of town will carry 1,000 gallons on board, followed by the 1986 tanker with 2,000 additional gallons. The chief said the total of 3,000 gallons is considered adequate to battle a fully-involved fire at an average size home.
Water from the newly acquired 2,000-gallon tanker can either be pumped directly onto the fire or used to re-supply the lead 1,000-gallon truck.
This 1986 vehicle will hopefully allow residents outside the water district to reduce their home insurance costs.
One of the immediate problems to overcome is the shortage of space to store fire vehicles in town. There are extremely tight quarters in the fire station on Cottage Street off Route 9 downtown, so for the time being the 1986 tanker will have to be kept outside.
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