PVFD adds to service fleet

Published 9:05 am Thursday, January 28, 2010

POWELLSVILLE – The Powellsville Volunteer Fire Department celebrated the addition of a new pumper Tuesday morning.

A two-door, E-One Class A Engine Pumper was delivered to the department as part of a celebration that included a grant and loan from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development division.

The new truck replaces a 1972 Ford Howe pumper. It becomes the fifth vehicle of the PVFD fleet joining another 2010 E-One pumper that was won in a national contest last year, two tankers and an equipment truck.

“We appreciate all the support we’ve received from our community over the years,” said PVFD Inc. President Merrill Waters. “We also are thankful for the help from USDA.”

Despite winning the new truck last year, members of the fire department said it was necessary to continue with their plans to buy a new pumper because of insurance ratings.

“We have a six-rating in town,” said Fire Chief David Powell. “We needed two Class A engines to be able to keep that rating and obviously our other one was very old.”

In fact, Powellsville was using three older trucks to try to maintain the rating and the cost for repairs was becoming prohibitive.

“We will actually pay less for the payment on the new truck than we were paying to maintain the old one,” Waters said. “That’s one of the reasons we moved forward.”

The purchase of the new vehicle was made possible thanks to a $30,000 down payment provided by the department and assistance from Rural Development.

USDA Rural Development provided a grant of $70,000 together with a loan of $71,000 to purchase the truck. The funding was provided from the Community Facilities program.

The money the department put down on the truck came from BBQ dinners, donations and turkey shoots, according to Firefighter Greg Hughes.

“We wouldn’t have been able to purchase the truck without all of the support we’ve received from the community over the years,” Hughes said. “We are very thankful.”

Two trucks the department had received as gifts will be moving on to aid other fire departments, according to Chief Powell. They were donated to Engines of Hope to be given to needy departments.

The 1979 LaFrance is headed to Jamaica and the 1980 Chevrolet is bound for Michigan.

“We’ll keep the 1972 truck because it was the first new truck ever purchased by the Powellsville Volunteer Fire Department,” Waters said. “We’ll keep it for sentimental reasons.”

The new vehicle is the third new truck the department has ever owned following behind the ’72 vehicle and the E-One truck that was won in 2009.

Members of the fire department celebrated the truck’s arrival with a lunch and with a presentation by Doug Causey of USDA Rural Development.