Fire company welcomes new truck

Brian Meade, a Frederick County career firefighter/EMT, wipes down the front bumper of Stephens City's new Pierce pumper outside the fire station Thursday evening. The fire apparatus has a laser etched backlight that is the first for Pierce to manufacture. Rich Cooley/Daily

STEPHENS CITY — The firefighters at Stephens City Volunteer Fire and Rescue welcomed a brand new pumper/tanker truck to their station Thursday after crew members drove through the night from the truck’s manufacturer in Wisconsin.

The truck, a 2017 Pierce Velocity model, will replace the company’s 1990 Pierce model which has served Stephens City and the surrounding areas for the last 26 years.

Fire and Rescue President David Foley said the prior truck’s age was the reason for the purchase.

“It’s exceeded what the manufacturer and most industry expects from a fire truck,” he said. “It’s had a good life and it’s put out a lot of fires and done a lot of work for the community, so the replacement — our goal is for it to be the exact same thing.”

Chief John Jones said the truck will be put into service in about 90 days, after the crew has had time to outfit it with its various tools and apparatus needed for firefighting.

The price tag for the new truck, before the addition of those tools and various other equipment, came to $636,831. Foley said that hoses, tools and equipment will likely add around $25,000. Foley said the station has also applied for a federal grant to replace the station’s air packs, which provide oxygen to firefighters. He estimated that replacing those at the station would run around $250,000.

The company made a $72,000 down payment, which it had saved up, on the truck, with the remaining cost coming by way of a commercial tax-exempt loan of $590,000. Foley said that will be paid off over the next 10 years.

Foley said that the truck is the first new piece of apparatus to come to the station since 1990. Used apparatus have been bought since that time.

The new truck boasts a design feature that, according to Foley and Jones, is the first factory example of its kind from Pierce. “Stephens City” is laser etched into the front bumper with a backlight – white for normal transit and flashing red when on an emergency call. Foley said that not only does it look attractive, it’s a sign of the company’s pride in the area that it serves.

“It’s nice to know that with the community’s support, we can do this,” Foley said.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com