South Hadley firehouse seeking funds to buy new fire engine - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

South Hadley firehouse seeking funds to buy new fire engine

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A South Hadley firehouse is asking for a new engine to replace the current one which did not pass inspection.

Firefighters rely on their equipment to keep them as safe as possible when facing danger, but not everyone is in agreement about making the purchase.

"If you can't bring a fire engine to a fire, you can't put out a fire," said South Hadley Fire Chief Scott Brady. 
A pump on engine four at South Hadley's Fire District Two was deemed to have a critical issue.
"It is unable to hold a vacuum unless every valve is closed on the engine while it is running," Brady noted. 
That issue poses concerns about getting water to a fire, but that's not the only problem.
"We have a lot of rot on the underside. The air tanks are corroding, the vehicles engine has some leaks as well," Brady continued. 

The national standard to retire an engine is 25, and fire engine four is 27 years old. 

Chief Brady said the age alone is a reason to pull it out of service.
He told Western Mass News they learned about the problem with the pump on the same day as a prudential committee meeting where members were deciding what should be brought before the voters for approval.
"At that point they did not choose to place the engine on the annual meeting warrant," Brady explained. 
Since that day the Prudential Committee regrouped and decided to hold a special meeting later this month to discuss the options surrounding replacing the engine.

 "The firefighters are number one. They are the most important thing when it comes to putting out a fire, but they can't do it without the correct tools, and they certainly can't do it if they aren't safe on scene," Brady added.
Like any other organization, there is a budget.

Western Mass News spoke to Robert Lak, a member of the Prudential Committee.

Lak said that they have discussed adding the replacement of engine four to the districts warrant in the past, but voters turned it down last year.

He noted the fire company needs a new ambulance as well, and does not want jeopardize the warrant to buy a new ambulance.

Lak also explained that the Prudential Committee did not get an estimate to repair engine four, rather than remove it from service.
"If you have a concern about losing water during fire ground operations, it's scary," said Brady. 

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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