A High Bridge ladder truck/pumper fire truck that served the borough for 20 years is now headed to Nevada, where it will be used by the Yerington Mason Valley Fire Department.
And one of the firefighters who will be operating it is Tony Smith, a former High Bridge resident who now lives in Yerington. He was a very active member of the High Bridge Fire Department before moving to Nevada and recalls driving the old ladder truck (now Yerington Mason Valley’s new truck) on its first fire call in High Bridge.
He was one of a group of men from Yerington who came to Hunterdon on Wednesday, July 30, to pick up the truck.
Their company had purchased it for $25,000 by auction on the govdeals.com website, High Bridge Borough Administrator John Gregory said.
High Bridge had decided to auction the truck, a 1994 American LaFrance 75-foot ladder/pumper, rather than trade it in toward the new truck, he said.
The Yerington firemen knew what they were buying; High Bridge Fire Chief Brian Labuta explained that he’s remained friends with Smith since he moved.
Like any other old vehicle, the “maintenance costs of the old truck were starting to get astronomical,” Labuta said. American LaFrance is no longer in business, parts were scarce and “it was hard to find a certified dealer to work on it.”
The truck is going by flatbed truck to California where it will be refurbished, updated, and painted before it is placed into service at its new home in Nevada. They are hoping to get the truck in service around October of this year.
The new High Bridge truck cost $754,934, Gregory reported, and the town volunteers were able to save some money by transferring equipment to the new truck, a 2014 Pierce Arrow XT 75-foot ladder truck/pumper.
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