South Londonderry fire company gets new front-line engine

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Lderry fire truck front

Champion Fire Company’s new engine No. 1. Photos by Shawn Cunningham. Click a photo to launch gallery.

Less than a year after its purchase was approved at Londonderry’s Town Meeting, the new fire engine for South Londonderry’s Champion Fire Company has arrived and is being outfitted for service.

According to Fire Chief George Lang, the truck arrived on Saturday, Jan. 9 and company members have installed everything but the new radio. “It could still go out on a call though,” said Lang.

Crew cab

With four fold-down seats in the crew cab, the new truck can carry a six people.

mission control

With computer controls for much of the truck’s functions, the driver’s seat looks a little like mission control

Assembled by Smeal Fire Apparatus on a Spartan cab and frame with a Cummings engine, the new truck has a six-person cab that allows a crew to get to a fire without crowding the scene with private cars that can get in the way of other responding trucks.

The fire company spent two years working on the truck’s specs including a remote controlled “deck gun” on the roof of the truck. “When we get to the scene of a structure fire we can put a lot of water on the fire to knock it down before we go inside,” said former chief Danny Cobb.

One of the biggest challenges that the company faced was configuring the truck and its equipment to fit into the small, short bays of its South Londonderry fire station, located on Main Street.

While the $465,000 price tag was the subject of heated discussion at last March’s Town Meeting, according to Deputy Chief Jeff Duda, when the Smeal Fire dealer delivered the truck he told company officers that — if ordered today — it would cost 25 percent more.

tight fit

It’s a tight fit backing into the station with the new engine. The former No. 1 engine is at the left

The 1995 Freightliner truck that has been the front-line engine will become the company’s reserve engine while the Pierce No. 2 engine will be retired.

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