West End, Locust Gap fire companies working out deal on pumper truck sale
MOUNT CARMEL - The West End Fire Company's pumper truck will likely be staying close to home; borough officials are working out the details to sell the vehicle to Locust Gap Fire Company.
West End President Joel Hampton and borough Councilman Robert Shirmer, also a West End member, said they're glad the 1984 Pierce Arrow will be nearby because it can be used for mutual aid - Mount Carmel and Locust Gap are less than five miles apart.
All the work and modifications worth $20,000 that went into the truck recently will still benefit the borough, they said.
Hampton said it's a "very good truck" that was purchased in 2000 for $70,000.
Even though the truck might stay in the area, it's tough to see it go, Hampton said.
"It's like a part of you is leaving. If it has to go, it has to go. Everyone wants to see it go locally. At least we'll know it's being used and not just sitting out," he said.
The truck is sitting outside, and borough and fire officials are concerned exposure to cold winter weather could cause damage, they said. It's currently behind the borough garage along Seventh Street.
The truck has been out of service for at least two years and had been stored in the Anthracite Steam Fire Company truck room. Anthracite Steam and Fire Company recently underwent extensive renovations to make room for a 2011 KME Arielcat that was too tall for the company's truck room. The Arielcat was stored at the Mount Carmel Rescue Squad truck room since October 2010 and was moved to Anthracite in October, leaving no room for West End's pumper truck.
West End, formerly on North Vine Street, is in the process of consolidating with American Hose and Chemical Fire Company. Its firefighters are responding to calls with American Hose firefighters, the liquor license for social quarters is in safekeeping in accordance with the state Liquor Control Board and some West End members have already transferred membership to American Hose. The seven-member board of trustees also has a mixture of West End and American individuals.
Locust Gap Fire Chief Edmund Bordell said the village's 1975 Hahn pumper truck needs $14,000 in transmission repairs, and it will be cheaper to purchase the West End's truck, which will likely be sold for $5,000, according to a discussion held at a Mount Carmel borough council meeting Dec. 19.
In September, council members directed borough manager Edward Cuff to sell the truck through a broker, with proceeds to be directed into the capital account, because a broker would be able to garner interest across state lines at fire conventions and other events.
The West End's truck is currently listed on firetec.com for $9,500 or best offer, but Shirmer said council and fire officials would much rather see it stay in the area.
The Hahn truck, which has been owned by Locust Gap since 2000, pumps 1,000 gallons a minute (gpm) and carries 600 gallons of water, while the West End's truck pumps 1,250 gpm and carries 1,000 gallons.
West End and Locust Gap have yet finalize details, but plan to do so soon. Borough council has final say in the sale of the truck.
West End was established in 1915, American Hose in 1898. They are two of four fire companies in the Volunteer Fire Department of Mount Carmel, and the borough also has a rescue squad.
Each fire company has one pumper truck. Anthracite Steam Fire Company also has a ladder truck.