LOWELL, Maine — Town firefighters hope to have their newest truck in service in about three weeks after having traveled to upstate New York to pick it up over the weekend, Fire Chief Rick Smart said Monday.
The town bought the used 1992 Beck Ottawa pumper truck for $35,000 from a department in North Granville, N.Y. The truck has a six-man cab and 24,000 miles on it. Firefighters began prepping the truck on Sunday.
“One big point of this truck is that it has a lot of compartment space,” Smart said. “We finally have someplace that we can store all of our tools.”
The North Granville Hose Co. also donated a Jaws of Life set that firefighters typically use to free people from trapped vehicles; 13 air packs, 20 spare air bottles and several suits of turnout gear, Smart said.
The donations added to the truck’s value tremendously, Smart said.
The truck will replace the department’s 1975 Ford pumper, which runs well but is difficult to get parts for, Smart said. The 1975 unit will stay with the department as a reserve vehicle.
Burlington fire and the Lowell Fire Department formed in 2010, after another area department stopped covering both towns due to a lack of volunteer firefighters. The towns’ residents voted to create fire departments after hiring the Howland and Lincoln fire departments to provide temporary emergency service.
Lowell’s fire service has grown from 11 to 16 firefighters, who, depending on their experience, are paid $10.50 to $12.50 per hour on each call they handle, Smart said. The department also covers Enfield. It handles about 60 calls per year.
The Lowell Fire Department is seeking new members. Anyone interested in joining can call Smart at 732-5180 or stop by the Lowell town office to collect an application, he said.