Council OKs long-term Irwin VFD support
By Amanda Dolasinski
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Although the narrow streets and steep hills in Irwin are picturesque, Irwin Volunteer Fire Department Chief Justin Mochar said they can be challenging for firefighters racing to get to a burning home.
With council's support, the Irwin Volunteer Fire Department will purchase a new, customized ladder truck with advanced driving and safety capabilities. Although council cannot commit future budget amounts to the truck, it authorized the solicitor to create a letter of understanding to make donations to the department for the next 15 years, contingent upon available funds.
All council members who were present approved the letter. Gail Macioce was absent.
“We're thankful they're supporting us,” Mochar said. “We wouldn't be able to do it by ourselves.”
Irwin firefighters will purchase a 2014 Smeal ladder truck for $684,192. Payments will be made over 15 years and split between the fire department for about $25,400 and the borough for $15,000, if funds are available.
It's similar to a previous agreement between the fire department and council for a rescue truck. In that agreement, both parties made matching $10,000 payments over a five-year period, and there was a clause that allowed borough officials to cut the donation amount if funds were not available.
Irwin firefighters test drove a ladder truck of the same model owned by Southwest Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department to ensure it could navigate the streets and hills, Mochar said.
“There's streets in Irwin that are inaccessible to trucks,” he said. “This truck made every turn.”
New features on the truck include a shorter wheel base, which allows for more maneuverability around tight turns and streets. It also has an angled front and rear to make better approaches and departures on steep hills, Mochar said. Safety features include additional air bags, traction control and restrictions ensuring the ladder won't operate over the center of gravity, he said.
The department traditionally has purchased newer used pieces of equipment to stay within budget constraints. The proposed ladder truck, however, is brand new and customized to the needs of Irwin firefighters. The department's current ladder truck is a 1994 KME tower ladder that it purchased from a broker in Tulsa, Okla.
Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Prom dress consignment sale a hit with Norwin High School students
- North Huntingdon chief says officer has been creating a ‘negative environment’
- Road salt woes put Irwin in conservation mode
- North Irwin council members fill final vacancy
- North Huntingdon ‘villa-style’ housing plan could get final OK
- New East Suburban YMCA official to focus on staff development
- North Huntingdon commissioners OK 5-year tax break for developer
- Little help coming from Norwin municipalities with pothole damage
- Highlights from chief’s statement to North Huntingdon commissioners