DALTON, Mass. — The Fire District is projected to have its new ladder truck delivered in five weeks, the interim Fire Chief Chris Cachat said during the Fire District meeting on Tuesday night.
As of last week, the truck was in the paint shop, Cachat said.
The ladder truck has been completely refurbished from the ground up. Since the start of the project Northern Fire Equipment has had people leave, which set them back on a lot of their projects, Cachat said.
Water Commissioner Michael Kubicki questioned the expected delivery date saying that when he spoke to the owner of Northern Fire Equipment, he informed him that it would be delivered at the end of May and that there was only one other truck ahead of them in line.
Cachat said the owner told him last week that the truck ahead of Dalton in line was completed but that Northern Fire Equipment is now experiencing staffing issues.
The uncertainty about the fire truck stemmed from not knowing where it was due to a communication problem with the former Fire Chief James Peltier and the time issues with the company refurbishing the vehicle, commission Chair James Driscoll said following the meeting.
"We have talked fully with the people up in Watertown (N.Y.). They have assured us it's there. We can call up anytime we want and see it and any questions we have, we can directly talk to them now. So we're comfortable with what's going on with the truck," Driscoll said.
The Dalton Fire Department sidelined its 32-year old ladder truck in 2022 due to mechanical and safety concerns and has been loaning a truck from the Boston Fire Department. The new ladder truck is from 2000.
The Boston Fire Department has replacement trucks that will lend them out to other fire companies in the state, Driscoll said.
Peltier had connections there so that the Dalton could get a loaned ladder truck.
The district has not been paying to use the truck but the Boston Fire Department will call at some point requesting it back, Driscoll said.
Hopefully the new ladder truck comes in before the district needs to return the Boston truck "but if it's not, then we have to send it back," he said.
The town purchased its new ladder truck for about $100,000, including having it refurbished. Normally a ladder truck can cost a million and a half to $2 million, Cachat said.
Although Cachat has only seen pictures of the truck, he said when it comes close to the truck being ready for delivery he plans to drive the 4 1/2 hour ride to Buffalo, N.Y., to "OK everything" before it's delivered.
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