JENKINTOWN -- At the August 28 meeting, Borough Fire Marshall Kevin Lynch provided the Jenkintown community with updates regarding a long-awaited equipment purchase: a freshly-minted Spartan Aerial truck with a ladder range of 110 feet.
Between Pioneer and Independent Fire Companies, the department’s 50-member active crew currently lays claim to a 1996 Spartan/3-D, a 2007 Rosenbauer, a 1994 Pierce ladder truck, and a 1993 GMC Special Service Unit. For Lynch, the investment bodes well for the safety of the borough going forward.
“This truck will make us more efficient, and it makes us safer. We’ll be able to do our jobs better,” he said. “The technology has changed in leaps and bounds since the last upgrade was purchased,” with features including front-to-rear camera systems, LED lighting, and increased seating capacity.
“Everything is computer-driven,” Lynch said. “All the functions of the truck come out of that system. There are a lot of new gadgets, but they’re nothing we haven’t been exposed to.”
Officials said that the vehicle’s chassis was constructed in the Midwest before it was handed over to a factory in Ephrata for its second stage of manufacturing. The truck’s next step is Trenton, New Jersey, for the final phase of completion, with a delivery expectation of six to eight weeks.
Increased fire suppression, rescue, and prevention capabilities notwithstanding, perhaps the best news for the borough is that it’s all coming in at an expected cost.
“Eighteen months ago, I predicted an overall cost of $1.1 to $1.2 million, and that’s what we’re looking at right now,” Lynch said. “That’s a big number, but it’s what we thought we were going to have to pay.”
“We’ve been saving up in the Capital Fund for this purchase,” Mayor Allyson Dobbs said. “It bears repeating that we planned ahead.”
“I’m happy to see that the borough is giving the fire department the equipment they need,” Chief of Police Albert DiValentino said. “From someone who’s seen their work in-person, it’s absolutely phenomenal what they’re able to do.”
“We sincerely appreciate all the time and training your crew puts in,” council President Deborra Sines-Pancoe said. “You’re literally risking your lives for us.”
“Stay tuned,” Lynch said.