Edgartown fire department gets new wheels

Edgartown’s new Ford F-550 mini attack fire apparatus. — Brian Dowd

The Edgartown Fire Department rolled out its new fast-attack brush truck Thursday. Fire Chief Alex Schaeffer said the truck will help the department access remote areas through brush, especially in the event of a wildfire on the Island.

Edgartown voters approved the $115,000 purchase of the vehicle at the 2019 annual town meeting.

The truck, which was built with the help of Bulldog Fire Apparatus, is a Ford F-550 with chassis modifications. The 20,000-pound vehicle can hold 300 gallons of water, with a three-cylinder diesel Kubota-driven pump on the back. The pump allows them to have an inch and three-quarter hand line, which is used for fighting structural fires.

“Our hope is that this could be utilized to send into first response to alarm calls instead of sending a three-quarter-of-a-million-dollar piece of apparatus down dirt roads,” Schaeffer said. “This is a smaller work platform for us to be able to make access, quickly identify what’s going on, and make that quick additional attack if needed.”

Compared with the older utility truck, the mini attack holds twice as much water, has double the pump capacity, and there’s additional room to carry more equipment. There’s also room to add items on to the truck in the future, such as a bumper turret.

“We thought ahead for future developments,” Schaeffer said. “We’re making sure we can get to areas we couldn’t before.”