'No frills' pumper arrives at NP Fire Department

'No frills' pumper arrives at NP Fire Department

NORTH PROVIDENCE - Members of the North Providence Fire Department welcomed the latest addition to their fleet of vehicles last week, a 2014 E-One Typhoon Pumper they say is perfect for the town that purchased it.

The new Engine 1 is "a perfect work truck," said Fire Chief Leonard Albanese, with "no frills" but all the latest in technology and safety features. Make no mistake, said Albanese, this is a "very nice truck" that will serve the town and meet its high public safety standards for many years to come.

"It's perfect for our needs," he said.

The new Engine 1 arrived last Wednesday with a special guest on board, Whelan Elementary School student KJ Ricci, who has inspired many in town with his fight against a rare form of leukemia.

Firefighter Mike Deresta, who has driven the old Engine 1 for its entire two decades in the department, said having Ricci on the truck for the ride back from Greenwood Fire Apparatus in North Attleboro was the best experience of his firefighting career.

Local firefighters played an important role in the design of the new Engine 1, said Deresta. While departments in more suburban communities might need something bigger and fancier, he said, this truck is the right one for a more urbanized environment with plenty of access to water.

The truck, at $407,000 is great "for the work we do," said Albanese. It "is made for fighting fire" and designed with the safety of firefighters and residents in mind.

The modern version of the old 1995 Engine 1, which had accumulated 140,000 miles over 19 years on the front line, has a capacity to hold 750 gallons of water and 30 gallons of foam. Its capability of 1,500 gallons of water per minute is an improvement on the 1,250 gallons the old Engine 1 could do.

The purchase of the new Engine 1 is the next step in a plan to modernize the North Providence Fire Department and bring it into better compliance with standards from the National Fire Protection Association, said Albanese.

The NFPA recommends replacement of trucks every 15 years, so the local department is well overdue for a new truck, said the chief, who added that he has implemented a "regular program" for truck replacement to lower the average age of the fleet.

The new Engine 1 was priced right, said Albanese, "affordable but very functional." It was purchased after a nationwide search through a program that allows local fire departments to see bids from all over the country.

The old Engine 1 will now become a backup truck, said Albanese. Using it on a periodic basis should extend its life by several years, he said.