Friday, Sept. 6, 2019
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
Marion Fire Department to Receive Federal Grant to Purchase New Tanker Truck
MARION – Chief Brian Jackvony and Town Administrator James McGrail are pleased to announce that the Marion Fire Department was recently awarded a nearly $300,000 grant to fund the purchase of a new tanker truck.
The department was awarded $297,142.85 through the 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). To be eligible for the grant funds, the Town of Marion will be responsible for five percent of the total purchase price of the new vehicle.
The new tanker truck that will replace the department’s existing 1957 model, which is a former military vehicle the was obtained through the Federal Excess Property Program (FEPP). The current tanker is not equipped with basic safety features that protect firefighters when operating the vehicle.
“The current vehicle does not have seat belts that would protect our firefighters in the event of a crash and this is unacceptable,” Chief Jackvony said. “Vehicles that have been converted for purposes that they were never intended for are particularly dangerous because of the added weight they carry, especially when operating under emergency conditions. The new truck will not only be safer but will be designed to support our initial fire attack, especially in areas in town where private water mains do not provide adequate water flow for fire hydrants.”
Recent studies done by the town indicate that the water main infrastructure on privately owned properties is insufficient for effective response to a fire emergency. There are over 130 fire hydrants in Marion on privately owned land.
“Aging pipelines are something that every community in Massachusetts has to deal with. Many of the pipelines in town are over 100 years old and replacing them can be very costly, especially if the financial burden falls on a private citizen. Marion has approximately 26 miles of private roadways and many of the water mains that are under the roads are also privately owned,” Town Administrator McGrail said. “While we continue to work on long-term and short-term solutions to repair or replace the aging pipes, this new tanker will serve to better protect our residents and their property from fires.”
Along with the new truck will come training from the Massachusetts Fire Academy. All vehicle operators will attend an Emergency Vehicle Operator Course to refresh their skills before the truck is put into service.
The performance period on the grant is one year from the date that it was awarded. Chief Jackvony has assigned the project to Assistant Chief Allen Denham and Capt. Ronald Auld due to their knowledge and expertise in the area of purchasing apparatus.
“I would like to give a special thanks to Lt. Raymond Reimold for all of his support with the grant writing process and say that we are extremely thankful to have been chosen to be a recipient of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, which is very competitive” Chief Jackvony said. “This award demonstrates the talent and commitment of the members of this department along with our responsibility to always seek ways to better serve our community.”
The five percent co-share of the cost of the truck will need to be approved by voters at the upcoming Fall Town Meeting. If passed, the funds will be appropriated through budget resources already in place and there will be no additional cost to the taxpayer.