Voters will decide at a special town meeting Wednesday in Pittston whether to spend $45,000 on a new firetruck for the town’s Fire Department.

“It looks like a good deal,” said Roger Linton, chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

Pittston Fire Chief Jason Farris said the town already has money set aside in a future fire equipment reserve account, and no money will have to be raised to pay for the truck.

“What we have now is a military surplus ambulance that has been fitted out to be a rescue truck,” Farris said.

It doesn’t carry any water, but it does carry firefighting hand tools, rescue equipment and five firefighters; and it serves as a command center. The three seats in back face sideways and have only lap belts.

While it has suffered no catastrophic breakdown, it has been in the shop more than a half-dozen times for service.


“When you are in the fire service, you need a truck you can rely on,” Farris said.

The truck Farris has his eye on is a purpose-built rescue truck that will go to every call the Pittston Fire Department responds to in southern Kennebec and northern Lincoln counties.

While it’s a 2002 diesel model, the truck has only 5,000 miles on it and it has had only a single oil change. It’s being sold by a fire department in Massachusetts that has undergone some budget cuts and is selling off little-used equipment. Brand new, the truck would cost about $250,000, Farris said, and it’s for sale for $37,000. Farris said he’s asking for $45,000 to pay for the truck, change the lettering and pay for any maintenance it might need. Whatever money is left over will go back to the fire equipment reserve account.

The new truck offers safety improvements over the existing one. It can carry six firefighters — two in front and four in back. The firefighters in the back will be able to face forward, and all firefighters will be able to slide on their air packs while wearing their seat belts. That’s important because fire doubles in size every 30 seconds, and saving time can make a big difference, he said.

Farris took several people along when he went to look over the vehicle, including a mechanic who worked for EVM Fire Apparatus, the truck’s manufacturer, and who worked on that specific truck.

“It’s a great deal, both financial and safety,” he said.


Linton said attendance at special town meetings is usually less than at the annual meeting, but he expects those who follow the Fire Department to attend.

During Pittston’s Town Meeting in March, Farris requested $300,000 to replace the East Pittston Fire Station, which is outdated and inadequate for the department’s use. That article passed easily.

The special town meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Pittston Town Office, at 38 Whitefield Road.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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