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BROCKPORT â€“ A recently-purchased hybrid fire truck by the Horton Township Volunteer Fire Department will become their new go-to vehicle.
Horton Township Rescue 712 is a 2012 Ford 4x4 F550 chassis with a Rosenbauer body purchased by the department for $179,300.
Many fire departments in smaller communities are using combination trucks that can service a variety of calls as they are finding themselves short on manpower.
"What we try to accomplish right now during the day time, being short on manpower, is that it's too much to try and get all of the equipment out in one shot," said Chad Guaglianone, fire chief of the Horton Township Volunteer Fire Department. "This will combine everything into that mentality. It can all basically be handled with this one truck."
According to Horton Township Volunteer Firefighter and EMT P.J. Piccirillo, the four-man cab carries 300 gallons of water, pumps 1,000 gallons of water per minute and has reels on each side for rescue services.
"The big advantage of the reels is before we had to take the power for our tools to the accident," Piccirillo said. "This is going to be a big advantage to this township because we have a disproportionate number of MVAs [motor vehicle accidents] from the enormous amount of traffic on [state Route] 153 and 219.
"So for a small township we get a lot of car wrecks and we needed a vehicle to get right up to the car wreck and also one that had the capability for those reels to get the power tools without having to haul the power, the big generator, over to the accident. Now we can just pull reels and run our tools."
Being a smaller vehicle has its advantages over the larger trucks, Piccirillo said.
"It's four-wheel drive and that is a huge advantage in Horton Township," Piccirillo said. "There have been times when we haven't been able to get our engine up to the house or even being able to rescue somebody on a well site or on a back road. Now we have four-wheel drive and we can get the equipment to them. That's a big advantage of this truck."
Assistant Fire Chief Rich Guaglianone said the truck will be the primary quick response vehicle for medical calls.
"A lot of them go out as QRS calls and turn out to be something different," Rich Guaglianone said. "It's basically a BLS [basic life support] unit like an ambulance for all the equipment that we carry."
"The fire department responds to all ambulance calls in Horton Township," Rich Guaglianone said. "We have EMTs on staff that go to all ambulance calls in this township. We are usually the first people in and this unit right now is going to carry all of that medical equipment for most calls. We also have the advantage of having the rescue equipment if we need it."
Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, April 25, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.