Insurance coverage puts Harrison in position for fire engine upgrade

HARRISON — Maybe, there is a silver lining in the loss of Engine 4.

The Harrison Fire Department is down a truck following an accident last month, which resulted in a fire truck sliding out of control on Harrison Heights Road and crashing into trees.

Fortunately, the driver escaped with minor cuts and bruises.

Another silver lining is the town is in position to actually “upgrade” when it seeks to replace Engine 4.

Fire Chief Dana Laplante met with selectmen last week to discuss how he would like to approach truck replacement.

The town will look for a refurbished fire truck in Alabama, and hope to find an engine that has greater water capacity (1,250 gallons), more horsepower (enabling the vehicle to tackle some of Harrison’s steeper terrain, “not to go faster to calls,” Chief Laplante pointed out) and more seating room.

Chief Laplante noted that the current truck could transport two firefighters, while others would proceed to local and mutual aid calls in their own vehicles. By placing fully-equipped firefighters within the same vehicle, Laplante says the group can discuss job responsibilities while en route to the fire scene, thus enabling personnel to be “ready to go” once they arrive at the call.

The town will look to purchase a vehicle in the 2003 to 2005 range, which will again be an upgrade over the fire truck knocked out of commission due to the accident. Fire officials were authorized by selectmen to spend up to the amount of money awarded to the town by its insurer (there will be no additional cost to taxpayers).

As well as travel miles, Chief Laplante will take a close look at the truck’s usage history to determine which vehicle will be the best fit for the town.

James Lifter, who was in attendance at last Thursday’s meeting, donated $100 to the cause, which officials gratefully accepted.

Town Manager Bud Finch hopes the town can negotiate that along with the sale of the fire truck the company will also be responsible for transporting the vehicle to Harrison, thus removing any potential liability (an accident) to the town until it arrives locally.

In other business, selectmen appointed Ray Laplante, Colleen Densmore and Pamela Dyer to the Budget Committee. Finch presented his proposed budget, which will be passed along to the committee for review.

• There is a new sheriff’s deputy in town, Sherry MacVane. Finch said the new deputy has made her presence known, pulling over several drivers where speeding has been an issue.

“So, let’s welcome Sherry on board and obey the speed limit so your introduction to her isn’t a speeding ticket,” Finch said.


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