TEWKSBURY—The Tewksbury Fire Department’s replacement trucks are still on their way, albeit a few weeks behind schedule.
“There was a delay in the factory,” Chief Mike Hazel told the Town Crier.
Due to the failure of two of its engines, in January Tewksbury purchased two replacements from a fire department near Houston, Texas. Both of them together cost $330,000. As previously reported, during an annual Department of Transportation inspection, the department discovered two of its vehicles were unsafe. The two engines had cracked frame rails and the department was loaned Engine 4 from Wilmington, while it waits for the replacement apparatus to arrive.
“The first engine is just coming out of the Caterpillar dealership in Texas,” said Hazel. “From there, it’s going to the dealership in Denton.”
“They’re doing their tests and going through the trucks,” he added.
The next truck will come out of service on July 22, and it’ll go through the same process.
“We’re kind of working through mechanical issues with our older vehicles right now,” he said. “In the short term, that’s what we’re looking to do—making sure that process keeps going.”
The Department has engines in all of its stations.
“All the stations are open. We’re fully-functional,” he said.
And they’re still looking to purchase a new ladder truck, which is something they, due to the engine issues, had to put off.
“The ladder truck is in the capital plan in the next year or two,” he said. “That truck is almost twenty-eight years old.”
Hazel said that it’s uncommon for two trucks to “go down very abruptly like that.”
“But, unfortunately, it happened, and we’re just dealing with it,” he said.
“We’re just working through each day,” he added. “The guys are doing a fantastic job using the equipment we have.”