By Elio Gugliotti, Editor
New emergency vehicle replaces one destroyed by engine fire
BEACON FALLS — Beacon Hose Co. No. 1’s new ambulance is on the road, and blessed to boot.
Rev. Joy Jacob of St. Michael’s Church and Rev. Jess Joles of Beacon Falls Congregational Church joined members of the volunteer company and town officials at the firehouse Sept. 6 to bless the 2020 Ford ambulance, which has been in service since late August.
The new ambulance replaces the company’s 2006 Ford Lifeline that was destroyed in May when the engine caught fire as EMTs were taking a patient to Waterbury Hospital.
Beacon Hose Fire Chief Brian DeGeorge said it’s awesome to have the new ambulance on the road and great for morale and pride among members, too.
The town bought the ambulance through Eastford Fire & Rescue, a Connecticut-based vendor. American Emergency Vehicles in North Carolina built the ambulance, which cost $249,998.
The 2006 ambulance was scheduled to be replaced and the new one was ordered before the fire in May.
The town received $249,998 from its insurance company for the ambulance that caught fire. Officials are still determining what to do with the insurance money — use it to pay off the new ambulance or possibly buy another one.
The terms of the five-year loan for the new ambulance dictate the town has to make two payments before being able to pay it off in full in January 2022. Officials could reimburse the town for the $50,000 down payment on the ambulance and then pay it off early. Doing this would save the town a little more than $4,000 in interest.
The air suspension on Beacon Hose’s secondary ambulance — a 2012 Dodge Lifeline that is scheduled to be replaced in a couple years — needs to be repaired. The repairs are estimated to cost more than $20,000.
DeGeorge said last week he was still getting quotes for repairing the suspension to see if fixing it is feasible.
What to do with the 2012 ambulance is still under discussion.
The new ambulance is now the company’s frontline ambulance, with the 2012 ambulance serving as a backup. The company had been using an ambulance the Southbury Training School Fire Department loaned the department after the fire in May. DeGeorge said Beacon Hose returned this ambulance.