BELMAR, NJ — A new fire engine will soon be rolling into the Goodwill Hose Co. firehouse, representing the first step to upgrade Belmar Fire Department’s aging fleet of vehicles.

After an extensive evaluation of all options, Belmar Fire Official Ryan Dullea was able to find a 2018 Seagrave Fast Track Series pumper — a demonstration model used by the Wisconsin-based manufacturer, which recently slashed its price tag by $169,000 to $454,000.

Faced with having two of BFD’s six firefighting vehicles out of service, Dullea’s cost-saving efforts couldn’t have come at a better time, according to Mayor Mark Walsifer.

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“It’s something that we really need,” Walsifer said. “In these financial times, it’s tough to buy them. Ryan did a great job on finding us a great bargain.”

At its June 3 meeting, the borough council introduced a $525,000 bond ordinance to finance the purchase. A public hearing and final vote on the measure is expected on June 16.

Once approved, the vehicle could be put into service as early as mid-July — once it undergoes some $25,000 in equipment modifications and training is conducted, Dullea said.

“Two more pieces have to be replaced, but this is a great start to where we need to be,” he said.

The new Seagrave vehicle is equipped with a 750-gallon water tank and a pump with a 1,500 per minute pumping capacity. It will replace a 31-year-old engine truck purchased from Middletown nine years ago. That truck will either be sold for scrap for about $2,500, or it will be determined whether the Department of Public Works could “repurpose” it, Dullea said. 

Currently, BFD's three firehouses — Goodwill Hose Co. on Seventh Avenue, Union Fire Co. on Ninth Avenue and Volunteer Hook and Ladder Co. on 11th Avenue — each have a primary and back-up vehicle.

The borough purchased its last engine truck in 2002, and it received a grant in 2008 to acquire Volunteer’s ladder truck.

Since Belmar provides fire services to neighboring Lake Como, Walsifer said that discussions are under way with officials in that town to explore whether it would be picking up a portion of the vehicle’s cost.

Belmar Fire Department’s 2020 Fund Drive Under Way

For 130 years, the Belmar Fire Department has been serving the community of more than 4,000 home and businesses — volunteers standing ready to “protect our friends, neighbors and families.”

We understand that these are challenging times; please know the Belmar Fire Department is always here for you.”

— Belmar Fire Department 2020 Fund Drive letter

In addition to answering thousands of calls each year, Belmar firefighters are also active in the community, as the department sponsors youth baseball and basketball teams, as well holds an annual Christmas party for Belmar and Lake Como children.

But it’s always their trucks that steal the show — whether it’s during the annual Belmar/Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March or Belmar’s holiday tree lighting in Pyanoe Plaza, where children climb aboard the trucks for rides around the neighborhood.

Watch for the Belmar Fire Department’s 2020 Fund Drive letter to arrive in the mail to make a donation.

For more information, call 732-280-2085.

To become a volunteer firefighter, visit any of the firehouses at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays or at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

 

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