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New fire truck to hit the street

Monticello residents may notice a shiny, new fire truck on townstreets next week.

The Monticello Fire Department received a new 750-gallon rescuepumper earlier this week and is currently getting it ready forservice, Fire Chief Wayne Harrison said.

“We’re busy putting the equipment in it now,” he said.

E-One, the company that built the truck, will install thepumper’s radio later this week, Harrison said.

“As soon as they do that, we’ll put it on line,” he said.

The new pumper replaces another pumper purchased in 2000.

“We were having so much trouble out of the 2000 that they tookit back and built us this one,” Harrison said. “We started havingtrouble out of the 2000 almost immediately.”

After several problems and trips to the factory, Monticellobegan negotiating with E-One, based in Ocala, Fla., for a new truckin 2002, Harrison said. In February 2004, they reached anagreement, and the new truck was ordered.

Under the agreement, E-One reclaimed the 2000 pumper in 2003 andresold it to a fire department in Pennsylvania while Monticello wasable to receive a new truck at no cost, he said.

“This was the best solution we could come up with,” Harrisonsaid.

However, the town wanted to make a few changes to the truck, andthose changes resulted in a cost of $2,800.

The new truck is smaller than the department’s 1985 and 19931,000-gallon pumpers but has more room for equipment, such as theJaws of Life, and will roll on rescue missions as well asfires.

“The only thing really different is we got two more seats insidethe cab, a larger refrigerator and a dry-storage compartment forlights and shovels,” Harrison said.

The new truck will not improve the town’s fire rating, Harrisonsaid. The rating improved slightly when the 2000 pumper was addedto the department but was never lowered in the past year when thetruck was returned through an agreement with the ratings board.

“We contacted the rating bureau, and they said that as long aswe had one coming, they would allow us to operate off of the twotrucks we had without changing the rating,” Harrison said.

The only way the department can further improve the fire rating,Harrison said, is to add more full-time firefighters.