Members of the Ridgway Fire Department anxiously awaited the arrival of the newest addition to their fleet Tuesday afternoon at the Central Hose Company along North Broad Street in downtown Ridgway.
The newest addition to a fleet of seven fire trucks is a hybrid which will serve a dual-purpose by combining the functionality of a pumper and rescue truck into one.
With the fire department facing a manpower shortage, fire chief John Wygant said it would be easier if two trucks were combined into one.
"With it being a dual purpose truck; number one, we need less manpower to operate it," Wygant said. "If we go to a vehicle rescue, before we took the rescue truck and an engine, now we only have to pull one piece."
The truck, customized and sold by Precision Fire Apparatus, costs about $485,000.
"It was a win-win situation-- yes, it costs us a lot of money, but the thing is the upkeep of the truck is going to be less, manpower is going to be less, the maintenance should be less, fuel should be less because we are only running one truck instead of two," Wygant said. "We realize that there is not a lot of funding out there and what we want to do is show the people that we care and that we are doing everything we can to bite the bullet and not squander money."
Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, March 28, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.