The sun was out Wednesday (April 2) so I took a little ride.
I got a few photos of the new Bourne Car 143, a nice Chevy Silverado pickup that will serve as their Lieutenant vehicle in place of the Car 144 which will serve another roll. Of note is that Dave Pelonzi will soon become the Bourne fire inspector, a new position for that department. Another interesting observation at Bourne is a 1990s (I think 1991) military 6x6 2.5 ton vehicle parked behind HQ. It was acquired via surplus and is intended to be turned into a brush breaker to replace the old B128 that died a few years ago. It will be interesting to see how Bourne gets that done with their tight budget, but hopefully they will be able to turn this vehicle into a useful breaker.
From there, I stopped by Onset...(an excuse to have lunch at Wendys) ... not much going on there today. Then on to Middleborough. That is a big town, about 72 square miles with 3 stations, the newest in the north was built in 2002. Some interesting stuff going on there. The chief and deputy apparently both retired last year and the town has not appointed a replacement fire chief or deputy yet. The police chief is serving a dual role as administrator of both departments. The department operates with just 7 personnel on a shift, one of whom is the dispatcher. At one time they were running 1 man in the north and south stations. Since they only have up to 7 on duty, they closed the north station and run 5 & 2 when fully staffed and are closing the south station as well when staffing does not allow 2 for the south. It's kinda hard to believe that a town as large as Middleborough doing something like 2100 runs a year (no ambulance) and is getting by with such under staffing. Even with a small call force they are really under staffed. Hopefully no one will get hurt. To add to the department's woes, the 1989 Maxim ladder truck sounds like it is permanently out of service due to chassis problems. They parked it in the close station 3 and are hoping to get approval for a new aerial (Tower?) to replace it if voters approve funding in the spring. The old Maxim ladder was refurbed a couple years ago, but is just not mechanically fit. Another Maxim bites the dust... and from the town it was built in.
Anyway, from there on to Carver. Carver is a very nice department with some great equipment and personnel. I got a good look at their new boat, a 19 foot rigid hull inflatable built by Ribcraft in Marblehead. Its a nice boat and well designed for their needs. Carver had hopes of doing something with a new central fire station, but that seems to be a little on hold for now. They also hope to do something with a new engine in the near future.
By the way, Carver is hosting a brush breaker training program this month with a classroom session I believe on the 9th and a practical session in Myles Standish on the 13th (unfortunately I am working). The brush breaker drill I went to up there two years ago was awesome and they do something a little different each year with several communities getting involved. Last year was a night drill. Plymouth county seems to be doing some good things as far as training and mutual aid go. Good thing, because it has been a while since either Barnstable or Plymouth counties have really had a big / bad forest fire so the experience levels are down some. The potential is scarey, especially with all the houses now built in the woodlands... the whole 'urban interface' thing is going to happen here someday and houses are going to be lost because of inadequate apparatus and staffing.... So the training is a great idea.
Next I stopped in to visit Plymouth and ran into Batt Chief Dan Braley and had a good conversation with him about PFD. They have two new E-One Typhoons (1250/750) coming this summer for E2 and E5. Those engines will replace the current apparatus that will become spares. The new engines are due in July 2008. They are also planning a new rescue truck, but are a little short on bucks at the moment. The old rescue is a 1981 and is pretty tired. The guys at HQ were great and I finally got some photos of the new Tower 1 and a new Special Operations vehicle built from an old AMR ambulance. Had a little visit with the chief there as well. Plymouth is such a huge town... takes forever to drive from one end to the other.
So tonight I finally got some of the pictures posted on the site and uploaded everything. If you havent seem them yet, check out the pictures of the TFFT apparatus at Otis. The Army side of the fire station has these two Oshkosh vehicles that are really something. Check it out.
Hope you all are enjoying the website and now the blog. Believe it or not I am still trying to learn new things and improve the site and what it can do. It just takes time and as you can imagine, there are plenty of things tugging me in different directions on a regular basis. Most of you know the deal cause you are there also. I hope to get some good feedback from you guys via the blog on how to make the site better. I won't be able to do everything, and why I can do may take a little time, but ultimately I want to continue to improve it all the time.
Spread the word on this blog. It is a new adventure, but if we use it to its advantage I think we can all have some fun with it and communicate a little better.
Anyway, as always, stay safe out there.