ShareThis Page

Plum fire department welcomes new heavy duty truck

| Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, 9:00 p.m.
(c) 2012 Lillian DeDomenic
Volunteer firemen at Logans Ferry Heights Volunteer Fire Department work to equip their new tanker truck on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. The tanker carries 1,500 gallons of water and was delivered to the department last week. Chief Ray Brenner, Anthony Petricca and Todd Schrecongost fold the hoses in place. Lillian DeDomenic | For The Advance Leader
(c) 2012 Lillian DeDomenic
Volunteer firemen at Logans Ferry Heights Volunteer Fire Department work to equip their new tanker truck on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. The tanker carries 1,5000 gallons of water and was delivered to the department last week. Cory Johnson and John Pinkos stowing equipment in storage compartments on the side of the truck. Lillian DeDomenic | For The Advance Leader

There's a new fire truck in town.

The Logans Ferry Heights Volunteer Fire Department recently got a new tanker that has a capacity of 1,500 gallons of water and is expected to be used throughout the borough as well as in surrounding communities.

“A typical truck can hold 500 to 800 gallons of water,” Chief Ray Brenner said. “This is a significant amount.”

Brenner said the new tanker will be used in fires that require a large amount of water including brush and vegetation fires and in areas of the borough where volunteers do not have easy access to fire hydrants as well as those not served by public water.

“It's an invaluable tool in those areas,” Brenner said.

The truck will be available for calls handled by Plum's other volunteer fire departments — Holiday Park, Renton and Unity — as well as surrounding municipalities including Upper Burrell, Lower Burrell, New Kensington, Oakmont and Springdale.

Unity Volunteer Fire Chief Jeff Currie said the department has a tanker with a 750-gallon capacity.

Currie said Unity's fire district has a few areas that don't have ready access to fire hydrants. The department also covers a portion of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Currie said he calls upon Monroeville Volunteer Fire Department No. 5 on Seco Road when a tanker with more water capacity is needed in Unity's district.

“It will be nice to have one,” Currie said.

Brenner said the new truck with all the equipment on it cost about $320,000. No borough funds were used to buy the truck. The department received a loan from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

Currie said Unity is in line next year to receive money from the borough to help pay for a new truck under the apparatus replacement program.

The borough helps the four fire departments on a rotating basis to purchase trucks.

The program has stalled, though, because the fire fund has been dwindling. Borough council is looking at options to bolster the coffers in the fund.

Manager Michael Thomas said the projected balance in the fund at the end of this year is $42,000. The projected deficit in 2013 is $30,000.

In addition to truck purchases, money in the fund is used to pay for worker's compensation, hydrant fees, accident insurance, loan payments, municipal contributions, foreign fire insurance and tires.

Council late last year authorized transferring $75,000 from the general fund to subsidize the fire fund this year.

Dell said council is looking at options to bolster the fund including instituting a $1 per household fire fee next year.

Manager Michael Thomas said the fee would generate about $132,000 a year in revenue for the fund.

Council's finance committee was expected to meet with borough staff Wednesday night to start work on the 2013 budget.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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.