The Caribou Fire Department is one of four departments in the state to receive federal funds recently announced by FEMA. Caribou’s City Manager and the Fire Chief say the grant money will provide a significant upgrade.
A new tanker truck is coming to the Caribou Fire Department. The truck will replace their old tanker truck in bay 4.
Caribou Fire Chief Scott Susi, “Right now we currently carry 3000 gallons with an open cab truck, we’re changing that. The truck will be 25 years old in 2015 and we’re going to upgrade to a 3500 gallon tanker.”
Susi says it will be a major upgrade with automatic pieces to it.
Susi, “No more lifting, it will have automatic drop tanks, back up cameras, 3 dump shoots, and plenty of working space for extra hose and equipment on the truck.”
The new truck is made possible thanks to federal funding. Caribou and Bradley are currently the only fire departments in Maine receiving this grant for new trucks. The grants are from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which FEMA administers.
Caribou City Manager Austin Bleess, “It’s a very competitive grant process, there’s applications from all over the country that go for this money and to get $332,000 is huge for our community.”
Bleess says the city will pay for 5 percent to match the grant for a 350,000 dollar truck. And says that’s not the only benefit from this.
Bleess, “The new truck will have a larger water tank on it which means that the ISO rating for the city will improve which should translate into savings for home owners and home insurance policies.”
Susi, “The old truck can’t be used for fire fighting any more due to the FEMA granting process. It can go to private use or to a training facility.”
The grant money will officially come to the department in the coming weeks. Then, Chief Susi says bids will be put out for the new truck. He adds it should roll in and be ready for duty some time in the late fall.
Madison and Scarborough are the other two fire departments in Maine to receive funding. Their grant money will go toward operations and safety.