By Tom McGee – Trib Total Media
The Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Department will have to depend on fundraising to get its new fire truck.
Councilman Lou Costanzo, who also serves as the fire chief, told officials last month that the department was rejected for a federal grant that would have helped get a new fire truck.
“That really, really hurts us,” Costanzo said.
Council President Karen Pastor, also is a member of the department, said several reasons were given for the denial. They included the size of the borough, Sharpsburg’s mutual aid agreements with other communities, and that it already has an apparatus that can pump water.
Costanzo said several other local departments were also denied funding. Pastor said it is difficult for departments to get funding for trucks.
“You really have to be hard-pressed for an apparatus to get one,” Pastor said.
By George Guido – Triblive.com
After a lengthy controversy, Cheswick’s new fire truck will be in service soon.
The borough’s volunteer fire department is set to display the vehicle from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 16 at the department’s headquarters on Spruce Street.
The truck, which will replace a vehicle bought in 1989, will be christened in a traditional manner: with three different pushes from the street into the garage.
Borough officials will provide the first push; the second will be handled by firefighters from neighboring communities; and the third push to officially put the vehicle into service will be completed by Cheswick firefighters, according to fire officials.
The truck will cost about $354,000, with a major portion paid for through a bond refinancing.
By Tawnya Panizzi / photo by Jan Pakler – Aspinwall Herald
Fox Chapel Volunteer Fire Department will get a new $590,000 engine this year paid for with tax dollars.
Council approved the purchase in its $8.8 million 2014 budget, with Manager Gary Koehler saying fire department heads provided valid reasons to support the purchase — most significantly that the department’s current Engine No. 2 truck is 20 years old.
“There are standards that the National Fire Protection Agency requires for the insurance rating,” Koehler said. “A newer truck will help keep the taxes lower.”
Fox Chapel VFD was founded in 1953 and operates two stations, one along Fox Chapel Road and one along Dorseyville Road. When members bought their first pumper in 1955, they paid $18,000.
The new engine, to replace the 1994 Seagrave Class A pumper, is expected to cost just short of $600,000.
Assistant Fire Chief Brian Zimmerman said the department keeps to a 20-year replacement program to ensure vehicle safety upgrades.
By Tim Karan / photo Cindy Shegan Keeley – McKeesport Daily News
Firefighters don’t only rescue civilians. Sometimes they save each other.
During the weekend, Elizabeth Township-based Blaine Hill Volunteer Fire Co. gave one of its trucks to a Greene County department in need.
Chief Chris Evans said Blaine Hill had been looking to sell or donate its 1971 Mack CF-600 pumper truck for the past several months. When the Clarksville Fire Department inquired about it, Evans said he knew what needed to be done.
“We have another engine and we don’t need two,” he said. “This truck was just sitting in the garage collecting dust and we really wanted to see it go to people who need it.”
Evans said the truck, which served Blaine Hill for 11 years, had been largely unused for the past several and has been out of service since June. The department has several other trucks.
“Our newer engine is a 1997 (model),” he said. “The older truck is also a stick shift and it was getting difficult to find guys who can drive it.”
By Braden Ashe – Valley News Dispatch
The Leechburg Volunteer Fire Department may have a new aerial truck this week for the first time in 48 years.
Council will vote Monday to approve the fire department’s request to secure a tax-free S&T Bank loan for the truck. The fire department would pay off the loan independently at no cost to taxpayers, but must seek council approval since it operates as a borough subdivision.
Fire department Chairman of Finances Brian Scott said the truck will cost about $770,000.
The fire company is still in the process of getting its interest rate approved for the S&T loan, but Scott anticipates a 3.7 percent rate over a 20-year term.
The loan was made possible, according to fire Capt. Dave Safranyos, by council’s decision in November to extend its annual $32,500 appropriation for the fire department by 20 years. The borough has provided the funding for the past 15 years and its extension through 2033 hasn’t raised taxes on Leechburg residents.
The fire department, Safranyos said, relies heavily on that funding, along with about $137,000 each year from community support and federal and state grants.
If council approves the S&T loan, the fire company would buy the Rosenbauer fire truck from Kaza Fire Equipment Co., a sales and equipment service center in Ebensberg.
By Linda Harkcom – Mt Pleasant Journal
For the first time since 1981, the Mt. Pleasant Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 1 of Kecksburg has added a brand new vehicle to its service.
After 2 years of planning and fundraising, the fire department took possession of a new rescue pumper.
Kecksburg VFD Fire Chief David Trout said the new vehicle was custom built to the fire department’s specifications.
“The truck has a 2013 Ford 550 four wheel drive chassis. The rest of the truck was designed and organized by us to meet our needs. All of the shelves were custom built to our specifications,” Trout said.
The new truck will take over for two older trucks the company used to handle some of the same types of calls.
The 1982 GMC Pumper has been sold, and the 1993 Ford F-350, which had been utilized as the rescue unit has been reassigned as a mini pumper and brush truck.
“The old rescue unit only had a 500-gallon pump. The new truck has a 1,250-gallon pump. That is about the same size as the bigger truck it replaced,” Trout said.