Fire Apparatus Purchase Will Aid Millinocket ME

Millinocket (ME) officials have bought a used 2002 pumper truck from a fire department in Pennsylvania for $140,000.

The deal includes free hoses, ladders, extrication equipment, positive pressure fans, air packs and pike polls — all equipment that town firefighters can use.

The truck would normally cost about $200,000 used and more than $500,000 new, said Fire Chief Andrew Turcotte. This apparatus, and the 2012 model pumper firefighters put into service about two weeks ago, will effectively end what Turcotte called a serious problem with worn-out trucks.

Several years of declining town budgets — and what Turcotte has described as no “well-defined maintenance and capital outlay program” — had left the Millinocket Fire

Department with a 40-year-old pumper truck and a 31-year-old ladder truck that lacks a working pump.

The ladder-truck issue remains unresolved, but the Town Council’s 6-1 vote on March 21 to approve the purchase of the 2002 unit now leaves the town with two solid front-line trucks for handling emergencies, Turcotte said.

The truck will arrive and be in service by mid-April. The 2012 unit, which features a 2011 chassis that firefighters preferred over the more recent model, was held out of service as town leaders determined whether to sell it for two used models or keep it and buy a used model.

Turcotte is developing a master purchase plan, in which funds could be set aside to help cushion taxpayers against large, sudden equipment purchases, he said.

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