Glassboro fire department to get new pumper truck

Glassboro fire department to get new pumper truck

The borough fire department will receive a special delivery from Wisconsin of a $242,000 truck that the fire chief says will better suit his department given its dwindling pool of volunteers.

Fire Chief Ralph Johnson said the new pumper will hold more than double about 750 gallons the capacity of water than the 15-year-old truck it is replacing.

"We had to get a truck that would be self-sufficient for a longer period of time," Johnson said.

While noting that the truck was not purchased specifically with Rowan University in mind, Johnson said the new pumper will better suit the campus in particular the new town house complex.

Rowan University donated $20,000 toward the purchase. Initially budgeted in 2005, Johnson said tax increases pushed the new truck to the backburner until the Rowan donation came in.

"It came out of a conversation with the fire chief about the department's needs," university spokesman Joe Cardona said of the gift. "We wanted to help the fire department in some fashion since they do provide a service."

Cardona said the donation was made above and beyond the annual $100,000 contribution the university pledged over a 10-year period to assist with economic development in the borough.

The Glassboro fire department has a paid chief and four other full-time employees. The department has about 45 volunteers.

Johnson said an average of only seven volunteers assist paid firefighters on calls during the day.

"That's why we needed to ensure that we changed our way of thinking and put more water on the scene," Johnson said.

The new pumper truck is expected to arrive early next week and be in commission by the end of the year. The borough is bonding the additional $222,000 needed to purchase the truck.

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Date Published: Friday, December 1, 2006 (All day)