RHC gets new squad truck

Rescue Hose Company No. 1 took delivery of a 2010 Squad 3 last week. Members of the apparatus planning committee included, at top, Mike Luger and Bill Shatzer, and from left, JR Koons, Wayne Singhas, Don Eshleman, Jeff Williams and fire chief Kevin Barnes.

A new fire truck arrived Friday evening, and Rescue Hose Company personnel wasted no time learning how to run it. Operators and fire officers were trained Saturday morning on the intricacies of the 2010 Pierce Heavy Duty Rescue Squad.

Fire chief Kevin Barnes said the $600,000 vehicle was the culmination of two years of work by the apparatus planning committee. The group visited other fire departments and attended conferences to determine the best features to order as the RHC serves Greencastle and Antrim Township.

The truck replaces a 1990 squad. "That one was state of the art at the time and served us well for 20 years," said Barnes. "The updated requirements for equipment based on the calls we receive was the catalyst to get something new."

He highlighted the features of the brand new model. It has a compressed air system, which means the department can take fewer vehicles to the scene of auto accidents. "We have the ability to absorb spills and handle the accidents. There are portable winches on all four sides of the apparatus."

Also new are red and yellow chevrons on the back for greater visibility. Lighted arrows on the sides and back will direct traffic around the emergency scenes, often on state highways or I-81. That will enhance the safety of rescue personnel and victims, Barnes said.

The squad, at 39-feet long, surpasses the 1990 model by eight feet. The extra length allows more storage space for equipment, accessible from the exterior rather than from the crew compartment. The cab is roomier and safer for the occupants, with front and side airbags, and seatbelts easier to fasten.

The truck was obtained through fundraisers, and from public and private donations, including the Borough of Greencastle and Antrim Township. The old truck is for sale, with several bids received. A representative from Pierce conducted the training session, both in the classroom and on the vehicle itself.

"We hope this will serve us for the next 20 years," stated Barnes.