Pa. man helps Hagerstown Fire Dept. with loaner truck from his collection

August 01, 2013|By RAYCHEL HARVEY-JONES |
  • William Adams, of Willow Hill, Pa., assistant fire chief, Metal Township, Pa., is the owner of a 1979 Seagrave ladder truck loaned to Hagerstown Fire Department.
Submitted photo

With two of its trucks out of service for repairs, the Hagerstown Fire Department has borrowed a tiller truck from Frederick County and an additional truck from Pennsylvania fire equipment collector William Adams.

Hagerstown’s Truck 4 — a tiller truck that allows dual steering through the narrow streets of Hagerstown and has a 100-foot ladder — has been out of service for almost three months, city fire officials said.

And Truck 1, a second tiller truck, has been out of service since Sunday.

Truck 1 has a broken transmission, and Truck 4’s fifth wheel needs to be rebuilt, officials said.

The fire trucks are being fixed by city mechanics, according to a worker at the central maintenance repair garage.

“We have been relying on Longmeadow, Halfway and Williamsport to assist with their ladder trucks, as these are essential for the safety of the public and the firefighters of Hagerstown,” city fire Capt. Russell Diaello said.

But those two volunteer companies also need the equipment, Diaello said.

“These are volunteer fire companies so it is not a long-term solution. Therefore, we reached out to Frederick who loaned us their truck until we have at a least one of our own ladder trucks up and running,” he said.

“Frederick County has loaned what we call a hook-and-ladder truck, which is basically a tractor-drawn aerial truck,” said Doug Brown, community services liaison and spokesman for the Frederick County Division of Fire Services.

“It is not a common occurrence in daily operations to loan a truck, but we provide mutual aid to all the fire companies across the region — so we are always happy to help and vice versa,” said Brown, who noted the department has eight ladder trucks in service in Frederick County.

The other ladder truck is on loan from William Adams, 50, of Willow Hill, Pa., the assistant fire chief in Metal Township, Fannettsburg, Pa., Co, 21.

“They called me and asked if the truck was available; they asked if they could rent it. I would never ask a fire service for payment. I want to support them. I told them to arrange the ladder certification, and they could use it as long as they needed it,”  Adams said.

“I collect fire trucks because I have a mechanical background, and I love the fire service, so I enjoy collecting them,” he said.

The truck he loaned Hagerstown is a 1979 Seagrave, with a 100-foot ladder. He said he also has a 1988 Seagrave fire engine.

“I bought the ladder truck from South Bend, Ind.,” Adams said. “My wife stopped speaking to me for a week, but it was worth it.”

As of Thursday, there was no definite time frame for completion of repairs of Truck 4, while Truck 1 might be repaired this week, officials said.

“The main concern with using ladder trucks from other fire departments is the response time. It may take an additional six to eight minutes, and a lot can happen in a fire in that short time,” Diaello said.

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