A Cumberland fire truck has officially entered retirement. That leaves the department searching for a new recruit to fill the empty role.
They had thought they could keep the truck going, despite the rust and other signs of old age.
But an accidental swerve last week showed the truck was truly on its last legs.
During a recent medical call on Pidgeon Road, the truck went off-road, causing significant damage the vehicle’s frame.
“We had trouble even getting it out of the bush,” said fire chief Mike Williamson at the August 8th council meeting. Which is funny, because they called this one the “bush truck.”
Now, the fire department has to replace it. To be fair, it was nearly 20-years-old and had hauled a lot of gear in those 20 years.
The smaller truck also provided access to places that are hard to reach with bigger trucks, such are fires in the woods.
“You can’t get an engine back there,” said Williamson.
During the last few months of summer when unregulated camping is most popular, this is a big problem.
Williamson went to council with an urgent request for money cover the cost of a replacement truck.
He requested a budget of $80,000. About $2,000 covers wrapping the vehicle with the firetruck logo while another $5,000 was budgeted for emergency lights and communications equipment.
Michelle Mason, Chief Financial Officer, told council they did have reserve funds that could be used for this purchase. Moving forward though? She said this would be the last of those funds for a while.
The fire department bought a new engine in May 2020. But we can all agree that you can’t fight a fire without a truck.
“You’re going to have some real challenges coming up with [future] vehicle purchases,” she said.
Council approved the expense and amended the village’s financial plan bylaw.
The department will get a new (but likely used) bush truck.
Here’s hoping they can stay out of the bushes.