The new, shiny, red fire tanker the Virgil Fire Department has recently received may not have its decals and insignias yet, but it will help fill the role the department needs due to its limited manpower, said Matthew Simpson, an engineer with the fire department.
The tanker, which can carry 2,500 gallons of water, was delivered to the department earlier this month and will replace an old tanker and engine, both around 20years-old, he said.
The vehicle was purchased to serve a more practical, versatile role, he said. It will be able to be a first-responding vehicle, more so since there are usually only two to five volunteer firefighters available during the day.
“We don’t have enough people to fill a six-man cab,” he said, the size of a full fire engine.
The decision to buy the smaller tanker was in part to help make the department more efficient, reducing its fleet to six vehicles, while helping fulfill the needs of being a first-responding vehicle while mutual aid arrives, Chief Adam Brown said.
“In conjunction with all the mutual aid that comes in during the day, this would be the best option for us,” he said.
Virgil Fire Chief Adam Brown said the vehicle cost around $405,000, which was all paid for by a 10-year bond and from the department’s savings account.
That broke down to about $300,000 in bonding and $105,000 in savings, said Mike Ten Kate, a Virgil fire commissioner and the code enforcement officer with Cortland’s fire department.
Brown also said town taxes would not be increased by the purchase, which has been in the planning for the last 2 1/2 years.
“The commissioners have been great strategic planners,” Brown said.
Though the engine is in the department’s possession, Ten Kate said the department is still waiting to have the decals and insignia painted on.