SILVER CREEK - The Silver Creek Fire Department has found an ideal truck for the village, the only thing missing is the funding.
According to fire department officials, the department has been in need of updated equipment for years and has asked the board to buy a new fire truck.
Department officials met with the village board recently because a used truck in very good condition has become available.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Silver Creek Assistant Fire Chief James Tytka Jr. (right) explained how much research has gone into determining the kind of truck the village needs at a recent meeting with the village board.
Assistant Chief Brandon Griewisch explained the truck is a 1993 Pierce and has a 75-foot ladder, 2,000 gallon pumping capacity (twice the village's maximum capacity on any vehicle it currently owns), can transport eight firefighters and carry airpacks and an assortment of ladders and tools. He said there are 14,000 miles and 1,600 ladder hours on the vehicle. The vehicle costs $150,000 vehicle, but would cost $600,000 new.
Fire Chief Jeff Griewisch said everything on the truck is operational and in very good condition.
"The only reason they are getting rid of the truck is because they have funding for what we call a 'basket' like what Fredonia has," he explained. "We were originally looking for a pumper - this fulfills that with a plus."
Assistant Chief James Tytka Jr. said a truck committee was formed three years ago to create specifications for a new truck. He said from this the department knows what it needs but needs the village board to commit to purchasing a vehicle, as the former administration did in a written letter.
"This is better than the rescue pumper we were looking for because it is three trucks in one - a pumper, a rescue, and an aerial device," he said.
He added that it is recommended to have a ladder truck if there are buildings over 38 feet in the village and there are around five that height in Silver Creek.
Brandon Griewisch said the ladder can also be used for situations other than fires like reaching people on the other side of flood waters. He added the addition of this truck would reduce the village's ISO rating, decreasing insurance for the village and residents.
"We have always kept the village in mind with our plans. We are taxpayers too and we keep that in mind. We always try to fill the gaps with our fund drives so that that will not be a burden on the taxpayers," he explained.
Mayor Nick Piccolo said he was playing devil's advocate in asking questions that residents have asked him.
He pointed out the problem that the truck will not fit in the fire hall and will have to be kept at the department of public works building. He said this means equipment will have to be moved in the DPW and the truck will be in a secondary location.
Trustee Tom Harmon said the department has county funding and a reserve account but asked if it would be willing to help with the balance.
"Our feeling is we do our job 24/7 and we just need the equipment to do our job. I don't think that my guys should have to pound the pavement to get a vehicle. We will equip it and pay for the lettering which will probably costs between $2,000 to $5,000 but we feel the village needs to equip us with what we need to do our job," Chief Griewisch said.
Griewisch said the department actively pursues grants and will continue to do so.
Piccolo said the board would looking into funding and discuss funding options for the truck at its meeting today at 7 p.m. in the village hall.