When a new fire truck goes into service people take notice.
Alberton Fire Chief Shannon Dumville said his department’s new tanker wasn’t in the province five minutes before he knew it was close.
Someone had snapped a photo of it at the scales in Borden-Carleton and sent it to him. The truck arrived from its Helie Trucks manufacturer in Joliette, Quebec around 10 p.m. last Thursday, and about half of the department’s firefighters were at the fire hall to witness its arrival.
Firefighter Stephen LeClair said he caught up to the tanker, with its bright reflective markings, on the Cascumpec Road and followed it in to the fire hall.
By suppertime the following day, the department deemed the unit ready for service.
Circling the new tanker, just as he’s done several times since its arrival, Dumville gives his nod of approval.
“I’m very impressed,” he said. “It’s more than what we ordered.”
There were some added features included at no additional cost, like the ability to draw its own water from a stream.
It has a 750-gallon-a-minute pumping capacity, up from 350 gallons-a-minute with the truck it’s replacing. When dumping into a drop tank, it can dump its entire load from a uni-directional dump in two and a half minutes and be on its way back to a filling location. The truck carries extra hoses as well as a 38-foot heavy-duty ladder up top. There’s external lighting at every set of steps and front and back water level indicators.
Mayor David Gordon recently stopped by the fire hall to check out the new unit and said he liked what he saw.
The truck replaces a 1989 gas engine Ford tanker, which has been taken out of service and is being advertised for sale by tender along with a spare engine. Now that the department’s entire fleet is diesel, the department has no use for the spare engine, Dumville said.
Total cost of the new unit is $261,855 delivered, taxes in.
Dumville said about $48,000 had already been set aside, and the Firemen’s Club donated an additional $10,000 towards the purchase. The Town of Alberton is financing the remaining costs, with payments to come out of the fire department’s annual budget.