Deputy Fire Chief Dave Ogden is proud to have a new Rescue 1 truck as part of the fleet for the Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department. The new vehicle was funded by the Town of Alexandria and the AVFD Auxiliary. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
October 24, 2012ALEXANDRIA — The Town of Alexandria welcomed the arrival of a new rescue truck for the fire department on Oct. 18, a milestone in the history of the all-volunteer organization.
"This is going to be a jump forward of about 30 years for us," said Chief Mark Chevalier.
Preparations for its arrival included a six-foot extension to the rescue bay of the fire department's building, located on Washburn Road, to accommodate the larger vehicle.
Chevalier said the old Rescue 1 was a former 1984 ambulance, modified to serve as a rescue vehicle. The department has been utilizing the truck to the best of their ability for several years, even though it was not equipped to do much more than lug equipment.
The new vehicle is able to carry 400 gallons of water, something that will aid the firefighters in their response to remote locations in the rural town.
"The new truck can even be used as a fill truck for structure fires, or help us with smaller incidents, like accidents," Chevalier said.
He noted that the new equipment would have been a benefit in recent incidents over the past few years, but is confident it will now serve the town well in the future.
The vehicle, which cost $154,000, was funded in part by the town, which approved $145,000 toward its purchase, and an additional $21,000 was supplied by the Alexandria Ladies Auxiliary.
"They (the Auxiliary members) have been such a big help to us over the years. I don't know where we'd be without them," Chevalier said.
Next on the AVFD agenda is the sale of the former Rescue 1 vehicle, and the department hopes proceeds from that sale will help them outfit the new truck with the Jaws of Life, to be used in the case of a severe automobile accident.
"Right now, if we need the Jaws of Life to rescue someone, we have to rely on Bristol or Danbury fire departments to come to our aid," he said. "We could really use one of our own in this town because of how long it would take others to respond with what we need."
Besides the new Rescue 1, Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department is also equipped with two engines, a forestry vehicle and two rescue boats.