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Kecksburg VFD adds 'brand-new' rescue pumper

| Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Linda Harkcom | For The Mt. Pleasant Journal
The Mt. Pleasant Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 1 of Kecksburg recently purchased a new rescue pumper. It is the department's first brand-new truck since 1981. Pictured (from left) are the department's Fire Chief David Trout, President Duane Hutter and Assistant Fire Chief Larry Brinker.

For the first time since 1981, the Mt. Pleasant Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 1 of Kecksburg has added a brand new vehicle to its service.

After 2 years of planning and fundraising, the fire department took possession of a new rescue pumper.

Kecksburg VFD Fire Chief David Trout said the new vehicle was custom built to the fire department's specifications.

“The truck has a 2013 Ford 550 four wheel drive chassis. The rest of the truck was designed and organized by us to meet our needs. All of the shelves were custom built to our specifications,” Trout said.

The new truck will take over for two older trucks the company used to handle some of the same types of calls.

The 1982 GMC Pumper has been sold, and the 1993 Ford F-350, which had been utilized as the rescue unit has been reassigned as a mini pumper and brush truck.

“The old rescue unit only had a 500-gallon pump. The new truck has a 1,250-gallon pump. That is about the same size as the bigger truck it replaced,” Trout said.

By eliminating the need for the larger pump truck, Trout said the department will save thousands of dollars a year in insurance and maintenance costs.

With the larger pump and 100 feet of hose, the unit is capable of fighting fires and can get to some areas where the company's larger trucks cannot.

Trout said the truck has already been used at a vehicle collision site where the larger truck could never have reached.

“This truck is going to mean a lot to the community. It's going to be a quick attack truck, but we will also be able to fight major fires with it,” department President Duane Hutter said.

The truck will service vehicle accidents. Trout said it is equipped with the Hurst tool, known as the Jaws of Life, air bags and other equipment needed for extractions.

It is also equipped with new LED lighting used to light areas for first responders.

“It makes it a lot safer for us and easier to work at the scene,” Trout said.

He said thanks to a donation of $12,000 by the Kecksburg Ambulance Service, the truck has all new airbags and all of the fittings for the Hurst Tool have been updated.

“We are the Mt. Pleasant Township rescue company. We run on all accidents in Mt. Pleasant Township whether it is in our area or not. So this truck does serve the entire Mt. Pleasant Township community,” Trout said.

The $200,000 truck was purchased with funds raised over the past 3 to 4 years by the all-volunteer department.

They also received $20,000 from a special donation made to the township fire departments last year which was reserved for equipment or training.

They also received $1,000 from the Mt. Pleasant Township Fire Association.

“It's great that they we were able to help them and that they were able to utilize that money to purchase a new vehicle that will help to protect our citizens,” said Frank Puskar, chairman of Mt. Pleasant Township's board of supervisors.

“Most of the volunteer fire departments have used the money from the fund so far. Its good to know that they are using equipment that is up to date when they go out to serve our public and those volunteers do a great job,” he said.

Trout said there is still a balance owed on the truck, and department officials hope residents will contribute to the department's next fund drive, scheduled for November, to help with that and other costs of running the organization.

Linda Harkcom is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.