, Kingston, NH

Letters to the Editor

February 28, 2013

Support Newton Article 22

Support Newton Article 22

The Newton Fire Department is requesting the support of Article 22. Our intention is to replace our 1984 Ford Tank Truck. This scheduled replacement has been delayed numerous times for unscheduled repairs and refurbishment of other apparatus.

We can no longer delay this replacement. The current truck no longer serves the departments needs safely and is lacking industry standard safety requirements. The current truck is a front mounted pump which is inherently dangerous as it puts the operator in danger of crushing injuries. Front mounted pumps have been phased out of the fire service due to firefighter deaths. There are inadequate cab safety features as there are no proper seat belts for occupants, no supplemental restraint features, such as airbags. Another deficiency is the amount of water the 1984 tanker holds. This truck only holds 1,850 gallons of water. At the time of build, that was the most amount of water that was allowed to be put on that chassis. The new truck will be a double axle which will allow it to carry 3,000 gallons of water.

The town of Newton must bring water on wheels to its fires as we have no pressurized hydrant system.

Fires have changed in the thirty years since this truck was built. We need more water delivered at a faster pace these days. Homes and furnishings are now constructed much different than they were thirty years ago. Lightweight construction and the integration of petro-chemicals in furniture and belongings have nearly doubled the amount of heat generated in today’s fires. Today’s fires are burning quicker, faster and more intense.

Another deficiency is the size of the pump. The pump is rated at 750 gallons per minute. The new truck will be able to pump at a capacity nearly double the flow rate as the current one. The current truck has a standard transmission and has had multiple clutch replacements and is near due another one. The new truck is an automatic which means no manual shifting of the transmission and split rear-end.

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