On Monday night, March 27th, the Township Committee started the process to purchase a new firetruck for $450,000, to be used by the Sergeantsville Volunteer Fire Company. The truck would be paid for with a $350k bond and $100k from reserves, set aside expressly for this purpose. The committee introduced the bonding ordinance on first reading, which passed unanimously. The public hearing and final vote are scheduled for April 10th, 2006.
The last time the Township bought a new firetruck was in 1997 and at that time, the cost was $350k. According to Mayor and Fireman, Rich Madden (who recused himself from the committee’s discussion and vote) prices for firefighting equipment have skyrocketed since September 11th, 2001.
As equipment wears out, the fire company replaces it. This purchase will replace a 20-year old pumper that is rusting and outmoded by today’s technical standards. The new pumper truck has a 400 HP diesel engine – nearly twice the strength of the old truck, which struggles up some of the township’s steep hills such as Pine Hill Road and Rte 579. It can also seat six firefighters, five of them with breathing apparatus in an air conditioned cab. This will lower response time since the older truck only seats two fully suited firefighters. The pump is rated at 1500 gallons per minute, and with a compressed air foam system and a 6000 Watt light tower, the new truck “will far surpass all current capabilities”, according to Madden. The Post reached Captain Bill Powell, chairman of the truck committee, who explained some of the specifications of the new truck, and added that “the new truck will be a great tool to help the fire company protect the community”.