Sutton Fire Dept. unveils new $800K Ladder Truck
BY JOSH FARNSWORTH
Photo/Josh Farnsworth Sutton Fire Chief Paul Maynard stopped short of comparing it to Christmas morning, but Saturday brought a new, shiny red truck for the town fire department to use.
The Fire Department, along with Town Administrator Jim Smith, officially unveiled the new $800,000 quint fire truck Tuesday evening – a modern and flexible piece of rescue and safety for the town of Sutton.
The engine pulled into town Saturday morning, giving fire personnel the first glimpse at the future of firefighting in Sutton.
“It is a brand new tool in the toolbox to use for what we have to do,” said Maynard. “It is not the cure all, but it sure will give us lots of help.”
Town voters approved a debt exclusion item back at the 2009 May annual town meeting and by a 399-263 margin two weeks later on the election ballot. The vehicle, built by Pierce Manufacturing, is the first new ladder truck in Sutton’s history. It will replace Engine No. 4 at the Wilkinsonville Fire Station, which was bought used from Northbridge in 1977.
As the name suggests, the quint truck specializes as a type of fivein one vehicle and Maynard expects it to be one of the first responders to a variety of emergencies. The engine functions as a 75-foot ladder, houses a 500-gallon water tank, carries multiple ground ladders, and has a state of the art fire hose, and pump.
Robert Nunnemacher, the Truck Committee chairman, also pointed out that the 500 gallons, when mixed with foam carried on the truck can create helpful barriers in a fire, giving the department more volume of liquid to work with than what is carried. Maynard and Smith said the committee and Nunnemacher were instrumental in the process of acquiring the modern piece of firefighting machinery.
For Maynard, versatility is the prized function.
“It is a ladder truck that is an engine that carries its own water, and allows you get to taller buildings without the ground ladders,” he said. “The ladder will allow us to also get deeper into buildings with a large roof."
“In Sutton, the flexibility of this apparatus is great, especially for this town having a call fire department” said Smith. “This gives them multiple tools at their disposal.”
Maynard said the quint will also benefit neighboring towns. As a flexible unit, he said the truck is an ideal “mutual aid piece” that could help fire departments in Millbury, Douglas, and Northbridge in emergencies.
“We have received plenty of aid from those towns,” he said. “Now we can return the favor, if needed.”
Some of the tools must still be learned.
As part of the purchased package, Pierce Manufacturing will provide mandatory training for Sutton firefighters on proper usage of the vehicle. This includes a threeday tutorial covering 11 hours worth of material. The training is necessary before the department can officially use the ladder portion of the quint.
The truck unveiling gave a handful of residents a look at tangible evidence of their debt exclusion vote more than a year prior, drawing rave reviews from the onlookers. Once the training is squared away, Smith believes the safety of Sutton will only escalate with this bright red tool.
“This is a great day for Sutton residents,” he said. “We can provide a greater level of help this town never had at its disposal before.”