A custom 1500 GPM 1000 Gallon Pumper arrived on Jan. 8 and was immediately put into service the next day at the annual Old Newbury Christmas Tree Bonfire hosted by the Protection #2 Fire Company, Historic New England and Tendercrop Farm.
Fire Chief Nathan Walker says his crew is “extremely happy with the function and quality” of the new engine and want to thank town leaders and taxpayers for their support in its purchase.
The new engine, which cost $449,7754, replaces the 25-year-old FMC Engine 10. The town has a lease/purchase contract for the vehicle with annual payments of $52,350.69 over 10 years.
The Finance Committee is considering paying if off with available funds in order to save approximately $60,000 in interest costs. If selectmen approve this recommendation, it would appear as an article at the spring Town Meeting. A previous override request to avoid interest costs by paying off the vehicle failed at the polls.
Traditionally, Newbury’s approach to fire services has been unique among towns in Massachusetts. Although fire protection is provided by the Newbury Municipal Fire Department and both its full-time and call firefighters are considered town employees, the town’s two fire companies, independent 501c3 organizations, are in charge of its fire stations and apparatus, all of which it leases to the town, at least until the purchase of this new pumper truck. Last March Walker was hired as the town’s first paid fire chief with a starting salary of $60,000.
“This engine is a testament of support and commitment from the town to the evolution of our fire service in Newbury,” said Walker. He called the new truck “proof positive” of the commitment of town officials and townspeople to a municipal system that will provide safe, state-of-the-art fire services to protect life and property in Newbury.
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