Vestal Fire Department looks to replace truck, add safety

By Michelle Costanza

November 15, 2013 Updated Nov 15, 2013 at 12:57 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Vestal Fire Department wants help from voters to buy an emergency truck they say could help save lives.

The current heavy rescue truck is 27 years old and in need of repairs. Assistant Chief Douglas Rose said it has served its time and is no longer functional or safe.

While a proposal for a replacement was turned down by the public last spring, Rose said the department is hopeful this vote will work in their favor.

"This truck is one of the most important. If you're trapped in a car or a building or whatever, it carries a lot of specialized equipment," noted Rose, referring to the Jaws of Life and overhaul equipment.

According to the department, the new vehicle costs $675,000.

Rose says it would be many things the current truck is not: Up to National Fire Protection Association code, a reliable apparatus with ample space for equipment and capable of carrying more manpower to emergency scenes.

It would also provide breathing air and lighting.

A referendum for the replacement would be paid for in bonds and wouldn't increase taxes.

"The bonds are coming due that are being paid off by previous truck purchases. This truck would be paid for by that, and we'd still have some money leftover to put in capital reserve," Rose explained.

A public vote will be held for the referendum on Tuesday at the Vestal Town Hall from noon to 9 p.m.