Milltown gets first new fire truck
The Milltown-Whiskey Run Township Volunteer Fire Dept. took possession of a new custom fire truck last Tuesday evening. It replaces a 1981 model donated to the department in the 1990s.
The department had hoped to purchase the truck with grants, but after applying unsuccessfully for several, it opted to finance the truck through a debt service levied on taxpayers in the district, which includes all of Milltown and the remainder of Whiskey Run Township in Crawford County, said purchasing agent Captain Ramsey Vance.
‘It was the best way we could do it and not raise the tax rates any more,’ he said.
Vance said the fire department figured the increase, which will be tacked on to each household’s tax bill, would average less than $6 per installment.
The truck is a 2005 Ferrara crew cab, which carried a base price of $226,000. Once radios are installed and other customizing takes place, the total cost will be close to $250,000, Vance said.
The rig features an elongated cab, which will allow more firefighters to ride inside, keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also has automatic tire chains and an on-board foam dispenser (used for cleanup of chemical spills and fires). Plus, it provides ample storage for additional gear.
‘It basically doubled our storage,’ Vance said.
The new truck, a Class A pumper, will also house necessary rescue tools. It has the capacity to carry 1,000 gallons of water and is equipped with on-board generators. The water hoses are capable of pumping 250 gallons per minute. The foam receptacle holds 20 gallons.
The truck replaces the department’s 1981 pumper, which was donated to Milltown about seven years ago by the Louisville Fire Dept. The older truck will be retained as a backup.
The new truck was built by Ferrara Fire Apparatus at a plant in Louisiana and was the best quality truck for the lowest price of eight sealed bids the department received, Vance said.
The new model was delivered to a company in Evansville earlier this month. It was lettered at a graphics shop in Huntingburg and arrived at the Milltown firehouse about 7 p.m. and was greeted by a crowd of more than 20 anxious firefighters. The truck will be officially put into service early next month, after being outfitted with necessary equipment.
Monthly payments for the six-year loan will total just under $50,000 per year, Vance said.
The department, Vance said, did its homework when choosing which truck would best suit its needs and accommodate future growth in the area.
‘I’ve been on the phone every day for the last six months with somebody,’ he said. ‘We built it to be the front-line truck for the next 20 years.’
Assistant chief Scott Dubois said the truck’s arrival meant the end of a lot of work and planning for the firefighters who worked on the project.
‘It’s something we put a lot of thought into. It’s something the whole department and the whole town can be proud of,’ he said.
‘We’re glad to be getting the truck. It’s a good-quality truck,’ he added.
Vance, who joined the department as a teenage about 17 years ago, said the new truck could lower insurance ratings for residents in the district, but, he added, no changes have been made yet.