Greencastle’s new half-million-dollar pumper truck due by Christmas

Friday, April 19, 2019

It might be a little difficult to gift-wrap, but the Greencastle Fire Department’s new pumper/rescue truck is expected to arrive in time for Christmas.

Fire Chief John Burgess, fresh from a visit to the Sutphen Fire Apparatus Co. plant in Dublin, Ohio, told the Greencastle Board of Works and Safety Wednesday that the truck is “still on track” for delivery in mid-November or December.

“We ought to have a parade or something,” board member Trudy Selvia said as board members seemed almost giddy at the news.

Maybe Santa Claus could come to town on the new half-million-dollar fire truck, City Clerk-Treasurer Lynda Dunbar suggested.

“We’re talking about it,” Chief Burgess smilingly responded.

The chief said some minor modifications were made to the truck specifications during his visit.

For one thing, some shelving was deleted to provide additional space while other shelving was redesigned so firefighters wouldn’t have to be as tall as Burgess to grab things off the top shelf. Added to the contract was a provision for Sutphen to install all the radio antenna wiring instead of city firefighters trying to do it upon delivery.

“That will save us time and money in the end,” Chief Burgess said, noting that change resulted in a “modest increase” of $615.82, setting the overall price at $593,542.18.

The Board of Works approved a change-order to that effect on a motion by Selvia and affirmative votes by Craig Tuggle and Mayor Bill Dory.

Sutphen was chosen to build the fire truck for the city at the board’s October meeting.

Chief Burgess noted that the company is the same one that produced the city’s aerial tower truck, which is now more than 30 years old and on the list to be replaced in the near future. That replacement cost has been pegged at $1.5 million.

GFD has not had any difficulty working with Sutphen on repairs to the aerial truck, Burgess said. In fact, the firm has even handmade parts for the old truck, the chief said.

Burgess said he plans to go back to the Ohio plant about halfway through the project to check out the progress and “visibly watch the pump test.” He plans to return to the plant again to make a final review of the truck before Sutphen brings it to Greencastle.

“They’ll drive it back here and go over everything with our firefighters,” he said.

Meanwhile, in other business, the Board of Works approved the hiring of Jared McDaniel, who has been a Greencastle Police Department reserve officer for the past 15 months, as a new patrolman. McDaniel was the recommended choice of the GPD Board of Captains.

McDaniel, pending passing his PERF (Public Employee Retirement Fund) physical, will replace Officer Kyle Lee, who has accepted a position with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, also pending PERF approval.

That begs the question of what will happen to the city’s K-9 officer, Cain. Officer Lee has been his one-and-only handler since the 90-pound German Shepherd joined the police force in August 2016.

Ten or 11 years of services is considered standard for a law-enforcement dog, Officer Lee has previously said.

Mayor Dory said no determination has been made yet concerning Cain’s future.

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