SACKVILLE, N.B. – The latest addition to the Sackville Fire Department’s fleet of vehicles has arrived at the station and is ready to be put into service.
“We’re very excited with this new apparatus,” said Fire Chief Craig Bowser.
Coming with a pricetag of about half a million dollars, the new pumper tanker truck arrived at the end of March and the volunteer firefighters have been busy over the past month getting specialized training on the new truck.
“We’re comfortable the truck is now ready to be put in service,” said Bowser.
The purchase is the largest ever made for the fire department. The funds were approved back in 2016, as part of the town’s capital budget, and specifications for the truck were finalized in early 2017 and a tender issued late last year. The new truck, which was ordered from Metal Fab Ltd., arrived about two months earlier than anticipated, said Bowser, as it “got onto the assembly line quicker than expected.”
The new 35-foot long vehicle will double the water-carrying capacity of the department’s current tanker, which can only hold 1,200 gallons onboard and has a small gallon-per-minute pump.
Although the existing tanker, a 2000 model, wasn’t originally scheduled for replacement, Bowser explained that the Sackville department had to “change gears” when it was discovered that River Hebert’s Fire Department was getting set to remove its 4,000-gallon tanker from service due to operational and safety issues. Sackville shares a mutual aid agreement with River Hebert and the tanker has been a key asset for the department, playing a valuable water shuttle role in several of the town’s largest fires, including the Main Street block fire and the foundry fire.
“We decided we needed to increase our capacity,” said Bowser.
The new vehicle features a 2,500-gallon porta-tank that will provide that additional water supply if needed, both when responding to calls within the community and in the outlying areas throughout the region, said Bowser.
“It’s a very valuable asset,” he said. “It’s a crucial piece of equipment to add to our service.”
Included on the new truck is “hundreds of feet” of one-and-three-quarter inch hose and two-and-a-half inch high-volume hose, self-contained breathing apparatus, axes, halligan bars, ladders and more. The porta-tank is accessed via a hydraulic lift that allows for the tank to be stored atop the vehicle.
Also approved as part of the design of the new truck was a customized toolbox to be able to store a variety of items such as nozzles, fittings and other loose tools, a $3,000 purchase that was made thanks to funds from the department’s annual truck draw fundraiser.
The firefighters also decided to include a new ‘slogan’ on their vehicle, one that will be used as their new catch phrase within the department – ‘Volunteers. Our Family Serving Your Family.”
“The members take their job very seriously in protecting the citizens of Sackville,” said Bowser, noting the countless volunteer hours put in for fire calls, training courses, weekly meetings and fundraising activities.