NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Fire Department will get a new firetruck this year as officials begin the process of replacing aging vehicles in the department’s fleet.
The borough is buying a 100 foot Pierce Ascendant Mid Mount Aerial Ladder Truck from Firematic Supply Co. The new firetruck, which is expected to arrive around early fall, will replace the department’s 20-year-old ladder truck. Officials plan sell the old ladder truck after receiving the new one.
The ladder truck will cost $10,000 less than the $1.5 million official’s previously budgeted. The borough will finance the firetruck for ten years, starting in the 2020-21 fiscal year, through Pierce Financing Company. The estimated payments are $150,000 a year with a 2.9% interest rate, though officials are looking to see if they can secure a lower interest rate.
“We feel that we can get an even lower rate and the controller is working on that,” Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said.
The fire department sought bids for the new truck through the Houston Galveston Area Council Consortium, a national purchasing consortium.
“We do feel like we got the best price in all aspects of this vehicle,” Fire Chief Ellen Murray said.
The new ladder truck has a few amenities that the 20-year-old ladder truck doesn’t offer.
The new ladder truck will have a bucket at the end of the ladder with a 1,000-pound limit, and only needs one person to operate the ladder from the bucket. The old ladder truck requires two people to operate the ladder and doesn’t have a bucket.
“It makes rescues safer,” Murray said. “If you were getting somebody off a roof or out of window, they can walk right into the bucket instead of having to swing around, get on the ladder and climb down the ladder.”
The new ladder truck will also have airbags, side and rear cameras, and rollover protection for the cab.
Assistant Fire Chief Walter Seaman said the National Fire Protection Agency recommends that fire departments refurbish their apparatuses and bring them up the standard when they are 15 years old.
The fire department also has a 24-year-old fire engine, which carries water, and a rescue firetruck that is 19 years old.
Seaman said officials decided to replace the ladder truck before the fire engine because the department’s in-house mechanics have worked to refurbish it over the years to save money.
But, the time has come to replace the fire engine, as well, and fire officials are hoping to replace it next year.
“All of the departments are working with the controller to come up with an overall plan for all the vehicles in the borough,” Seaman said.
The department’s fleet also includes three 2013 Ford Explorers, a GMC truck, and Ford Crown Victorias from the 2000s that were used by the Naugatuck Police Department.
“I think we’re just very appreciative of the borough board and the finance board for recognizing that in order for us to keep the citizens safe, we need good equipment and they’ve recognized that and have done everything possible to support us,” Murray said.