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Mass. FD receives $1.3M ladder truck nearly 2 years after it was ordered

Chicopee Chief Daniel Stamborski cited multiple delays during the manufacturing process, especially in obtaining parts, in the early days of the pandemic


Members of the Chicopee Fire Department stand in front of the city’s new ladder truck. They are (from right to left) Deputy Chief Matthew Cross, Chief Daniel Stamborski, Lt. Matthew Zabik, firefighter Joseph Berge, Capt. Ryan Lynch, firefigher Liam St. Marie and City Councilor Gerard Roy, a retired firefighter.

Photo/Jeanette DeForge

Jeanette DeForge

CHICOPEE, Mass. — The Fire Department celebrated the long-awaited arrival of a new ladder truck last week and retired a 17-year-old one that had a badly rusted frame.

The City Council approved spending $1.3 to purchase the new ladder truck as part of a bond package in June 2019 when John L. Vieau was still president. It arrived more than a year after he took office as mayor.

While it takes months from the time a fire truck is ordered to the time it is delivered, there were further problems because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fire Chief Daniel Stamborski said.

There were multiple delays during the manufacturing process, especially in obtaining parts, which has been a frequent problem for many companies, mainly in the first six months of the pandemic, he said.

One of the advantages of the new ladder truck is it comes with a tank that carries 300 gallons of water and a pump so it can also connect to a hydrant for a water source. That allows firefighters to pour some water on a blaze immediately if they are the first on the scene of a fire, Fire Lt. Matt Zabik said.

“It is more efficient and safer,” Deputy Chief Matthew Cross said.

Other features on the truck are similar to those on existing fire vehicles so there is not a big learning curve. Shortly after the truck arrived, a representative from the manufacturer spent a few days in the city ensuring all the firefighters were trained on all the features, Cross said.

Firefighters also take the trucks out of the station daily to test them to ensure they are working well, so they will get plenty of practice operating the vehicle, he said.

“Public safety is my top priority,” Vieau said. “It is important we have adequate equipment for our firefighters.”


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