Department ‘fired up’ about addition of new engine

Come April, a new fire truck will be added to Moorestown’s fleet.

When trouble arises, Moorestown Fire District №1 is there to answer the call. The team takes residents’ safety seriously, so it’s no surprise that when its equipment passes the 20-year threshold, it’s time for a replacement.

Come April, a new fire truck will be added to Moorestown’s fleet. The truck is replacing a 1998 Pierce Saber, and with recent technological advancements, the machine will help Moorestown’s finest to find and extinguish fires more quickly, according to Fire District Administrator Chris Chesner.

Chesner said modern engines are equipped with pumps that — if hooked to a good water source — can flow a large volume of water. He said the newer engines use technology that provides information when something is wrong with the vehicle, along with safety features for firefighters and steering technology that allows for great maneuverability around buildings and streets.

“With the advancement of technology such as thermal-imaging cameras in the apparatus, the firefighters are able to find and extinguish the fire quicker in a smoke-filled and toxic environment,” Chesner said.

The engine will be completed in early March, at which time it will be delivered and training will be scheduled by the manufacturer, Chesner said. From there, hand tools and miscellaneous equipment will also need to be installed as well. He said they expect to have the engine fully in service by early April.

The engine will be similar to the other engines in the fleet in dimensions. The truck will hold 1,000 gallons of water with the ability to pump 1,500 gallons of water a minute. The vehicle will hold 1,000 feet of supply line and more than 800 feet of suppression hose.

Chesner said, as with the other engines, a 24-foot extension ladder and a 14-foot roofing ladder will be mounted on the vehicle, along with an assortment of hand tools and firefighting equipment. The truck will also feature an array of monitoring meters, a handheld thermal imager and self-contained breathing apparatus will be mounted on the vehicle.

The price of the new engine is $590,911, which includes an advance payment discount of $23,022 and a trade-in of the engine it’s replacing of $40,000. According to Chesner, the fire district places money in restricted funds for capital purchases, including apparatus replacement. In doing so, the district is able to purchase an apparatus in cash, which avoids finance charges and bonding.

In total, Moorestown Fire District №1 currently operates three engines, one ladder truck, one heavy rescue, one brush unit, one fire police unit and support vehicles, including command and inspection vehicles. Chesner said a few years back, the district housed four engines, but the department saw the fourth engine was not being utilized as frequently, and the additional engine was no longer necessary. He said they also considered the nearly $10,000 cost of maintenance and mandated testing on the vehicle and decided to narrow the fleet down to three.

Engines in the department are on a 21-year replacement schedule, so the next engine being replaced will be a 2004 Pierce Dash.

“The engine is only part of the equation; you still need the firefighters to put the fire out,” Chesner aid.

Moorestown is an entirely volunteer-run fire department, and both Moorestown Fire District №1 and Fire District №2 are in need of volunteers. Chesner said he encourages residents to consider joining. For more information, visit moorestownfire.org.