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County’s new fire truck has arrived at the new station

new-fire-truck-1Prince Edward County’s new fire truck was a star of Canada Day celebrations Friday as its 107-foot aerial ladder, adorned with the Canadian flag, could be seen from the length of the newly-opened Picton Main Street.

The fire department took delivery of the $1.2 million Pierce Ascendant truck last week at its new station on McDonald Drive. The department is making its move to there over the next week or so – just in time, as the facility on King Street is too small for the state-of-the-art truck.

Mayor Robert Quaiff beams after driving the fire truck. Fire Chief Scott Manlow and Darch Fire Service Manager Manny Costa, explained the advantages and benefits of the truck to the mayor and commissioner of corporate services and finance, Susan Turnbull.

Mayor Robert Quaiff beams after driving the fire truck. Fire Chief Scott Manlow and Darch Fire Service Manager Manny Costa, explained the advantages and benefits of the truck to the mayor and commissioner of corporate services and finance, Susan Turnbull.

Though he’s had plenty of experience driving big vehicles and machinery, Mayor Robert Quaiff fulfilled a lifelong dream of driving a fire truck and handily drove it out the giant bay doors, around the building, and back to its place.

“It was a tough decision for council to spend the money but after seeing it and learning about its safety, and other features, what a great decision we’ve made. It will help the municipality and our firefighters,” said Quaiff. “You have to give people the proper tools and equipment to do their job and to help ensure safety in the community.”

Fire Chief Scott Manlow said the truck replaces an aging 50-foot aerial needing costly repairs and also eliminates the need to buy a $350,000 pumper truck to the fleet this year.

“Council did ride through tough tumultuous times over this truck but I know they made the right decision,” said Manlow.

During Wednesday’s unveiling, the Chief explained the new single axle truck’s maneuverability, enabling it to travel through Picton’s tight turns where the old double axle required stopping and backing up to get through. He also explained its capability to pump 1,250 gallons of water per minute from its 500 gallon tank which means “not only can we battle the fire, but we can also work ahead of it and protect neighbouring buildings.”

It also has the ability to level itself for safe use at the scene, saving valuable time over the older truck’s manual levelling. Its large, extended cab will be used as an on-scene command centre.

“Our firefighters are undergoing training sessions to learn about the truck and its apparatus,” said Manlow.

The new Picton station is expected to open July 12 as the contractor is ahead of schedule. Firefighters are stocking it with supplies and tests of the 911 system are to be taking place this week.

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