New Fire Engine is Now on Call

Thursday, November 17, 2011
By Cary Shuman

Paul Flanagan (below), chief of the Winthrop Fire Department, polishes up the silver bell on the town’s brand new Seagrave fire engine (above) that went into service Wednesday.

The Winthrop Fire Department’s brand new Seagrave fire engine has arrived.

With its re-chromed silver bell adorning the front, gold lettering on the sides and front, and glistening, stainless steael state-of-the-art presence, one can ascertain that it’s an impressive-looking vehicle and a source of pride to the WFD members who dedicate their lives to helping people in emergency and life-threatening situations.

Seagrave Fire Apparatus of Wisconsin made the new Engine 2 pumper truck that made its debut in the town Wednesday.

Fire Chief Paul Flanagan said the fire engine was made possible by a competitive grant of $261,000 that the department was able to secure for the town. The purchase price for the engine was $472,000 and town will make the payments over a five-year lease/purchase agreement.

After getting the go-ahead from Flanagan, Fire Captain Richard Swartz, the WFD grant writer, submitted the application for the Federal grant.

Flanagan traveled to Washington D.C. and met with Senator Scott Brown and Congressman Edward Markey to discuss the importance of the new vehicle to the department.

“We were one of the few departments in the country to get those grant funds,” said Flanagan.

Flanagan expects the new engine to have a life of 18-20 years of service.

The silver bell on the front right side of the engine is 56 years old but thanks to a generous donation made by the chief, it looks as good as new.

“The bell may look a little luxurious for Winthrop’s taste, but it comes off of our 1955 Pirsch ladder truck that has been out of service for many years,” said Flanagan. “The bell had been in a closet in the firehouse and after re-chroming, now it’s proudly displayed on the front of the new engine,” said Flanagan.

The department will celebrate the new fire engine at a clergy-blessing event on November 25 at 5 p.m. to coincide with the Chamber of Commerce’s annual holiday lighting ceremony. The engine will be on display beginning at 3 p.m. in Winthrop Center.

“It’s a very exciting time when we get a new engine at the firehouse and we wanted it to be an exciting time for the residents – it’s their engine and it’s going to be running emergencies throughout the town for the next 18-20 years,” said Flanagan. “We hope the whole community attends and enjoys some hot dogs, hamburgers, give-a-ways, and an appearance by the Worcester Fire Department bagpipe band.”

Winthrop last acquired a new fire engine in 2006 when the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority [MWRA] purchased one for the town.

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