A new fire truck, dedicated Saturday, July 17th at the Orange Volunteer Fire Department’s Boston Post Road station, will help firefighters protect their neighbors for years to come, according to Orange First Selectman James M. Zeoli.
The new truck, designated Quint-32, went into service earlier this month. Equipped with a 75-foot aerial ladder, 1,500-gallon-per-minute pump and a variety of other tools, the Spartan/Smeal truck is designed to perform a variety of tasks at emergencies. Firefighters held a dedication ceremony, called a wetdown, on July 17th. In addition to showing off the new truck, the party included speeches and a cornhole tournament.
The truck replaces a 1978 Mack CK that had a 50-foot ladder and a 1,000-gallon-per-minute pump. The new truck carries a price tag of more than $850,000, paid for through the Fireman’s Carnival and other fund-raising activities. Such equipment, noted Zeoli, helps firefighters respond to the town’s emergencies.
“We have 14,000 people in this town,” said the first selectman. “We have probably 100,000 cars passing through this town every day. That’s all on this group. When there’s an emergency, you’re there and we’re all really, really grateful.”
Fire Chief Vaughan Dumas thanked his firefighters but offered special thanks to firefighters’ families and the community. Without their support, he said, the department wouldn’t have the new truck. “We work hard,” he said. “This is reward for that hard work.”
After additional comments and a prayer over the truck, Zeoli, himself a former Orange firefighter, sprayed the new truck with champagne. A crew led by former Chief John Knight, used a hose line from the truck being replaced to wash the champagne off the truck. Knight was chief when the truck was designed and the purchase process begun.
After the ceremony, firefighters from Orange and surrounding towns competed in a cornhole tournament. Bean bags flew through the air inside the Boston Post Road station as 10 teams worked their way through the tournament brackets. Paul DeGeorge and Kyle Brennan, both with Beacon Hose Company #1 of Beacon Falls, won the contest.
The new truck already is in service, responding to some alarms in town. Firefighters will spend the next few months continuing to learn to use the new truck effectively.
The Orange Volunteer Fire Association provides fire protection to residents and businesses in Orange and, through mutual aid, surrounding towns. Members receive training in fire suppression, rescue, hazardous materials response, homeland security issues and other emergency services.
Operating strictly with revenues from fund-raisers and donations, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department is one of the remaining few all-volunteer incorporated fire departments in Connecticut. Active members are on-call to serve the community on a 24-hour/seven-day basis, responding from stations on Orange Center Road and Boston Post Road.
In addition, the fire company offers public education services including lectures, demonstrations and training. For information about membership, donations or public education, call (203) 891-4703, click on https://www.orangevfd.org/ or find us on Facebook.