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The North Madison Volunteer Company trains with the new Ten-55 pumper truck. (Photo courtesy of Paul Harris )
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It puts the excitement of a new car to shame. In late March, the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company (NOMAD) received and prepped a new Ten-55 pumper truck and now the new piece of equipment is ready for use.
The Board of Selectmen authorized the purchase of the truck for $609,257 back in early 2017. The department had been planning for the purchase of the new truck for years as its current, 25 year-old pumper truck at was reaching the end of its useful life.
Fire trucks are custom built and specifications for each truck can be up to 150 pages long, according to immediate past NOMAD chief Donnie MacMillan, who also chaired the committee that designed the truck. MacMillan said a key feature of the new Ten-55 is a pre-connected hard suction hose, designed to simplify the process of getting water into the pumper, and then to the fire. This truck can pull from the department’s underground water tanks or any other body of water at a rate of 2,000 gallons a minute.
“We have no fire hydrants in North Madison,” he said. “So we have to draft water from ponds, underground tanks, and other water sources. Having the drafting hose pre-connected to the truck saves the firefighters time supplying water to the crews fighting a fire.”
According to the department, the new pumper can carry a crew of six firefighters, a full complement of ladders, three pre-connected attack lines, and a wide array of hand tools, and stores 1,000 gallons of water in its onboard tank. Member of the department recently moved all of the hose and equipment from the old truck on to the new truck, tested all the equipment, and conducted a hands-on training session.
The truck was built by Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton Wisconsin, and sold through Firematic Supply Company of Rocky Hill, Connecticut. It is North Madison’s third Pierce truck, joining pumper Ten-57 and heavy rescue Ten-9
The department still has to decide what to do with the old Ten-55 truck. Fire trucks are not generally treated like cars where you can trade them in or sell them for parts, so while the town owns the vehicles and has the right of first refusal, the old apparatuses are generally donated to more rural fire departments that cannot afford a new truck. MacMillan had previously said it’s nice to see donated vehicles put to good use.
“Madison Hose Co. 1, when they replaced one of their trucks, they gave it to a town down in Texas and I think a week later it was on ABC news because they responded to a bunch of tornadoes and you could still see the Madison Hose insignia,” he said.
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