By Chief Russ Volkert
An unexpected opportunity arose when the Dover Fire Department (DFD) purchased for $23,000 a used walk-in rescue truck from Pottsville, PA. After outfitting and modifying the unit—which included $6,500 in emergency lights and high-intensity scene lighting funded by Dover Township—the DFD has invested nearly $40,000 total in the vehicle. A comparable new unit would cost $600,000.

While a great asset to the DFD, the new unit will likely only be used 10-20 times annually as an ancillary or support unit and will not serve as a frontline response vehicle. For this reason, we considered it wasteful to purchase a new purpose-built unit when a suitable used rig could be easily and inexpensively modified.

Our new vehicle allows us to combine the roles of both Rescue and Fire Support and Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Support into one all-purpose vehicle. As a result we have leased our old support truck to Tuscarawas County for use by the HAZMAT team and the eventual replacement of their aging decontamination trailer. We also replaced our off-site, county-owned HAZMAT truck.

The purchase of our new vehicle and the subsequent leasing of our old trucks is a win-win for both the Dover Fire Department and the Tuscarawas County HAZMAT Team—which helps Dover City and Township as well as the whole Tuscarawas County.
Please visit www.dovertownship.us to see images of our new rig.

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Originally published in the Summer 2014 Newsletter