By Linda Dillman
The Madison Township Fire Department is moving ahead with plans for a new fire engine earlier than expected due to a Sept. 3 accident that totaled engine 182.
Firefighters were in the early phase of a lengthy design and ordering process for a new engine when the previous engine was involved in a collision on Groveport Road near the intersection at Richardson Road. No one—including firefighters, who were all wearing seat restraints—was seriously injured in the crash, but the township lost the service of the engine.
Totaling the engine accelerated the timeline for purchasing a new vehicle, but it also means the insurance company is picking up the tab to replace the $575,342 engine.
“We had replacement value insurance, so they’re paying for the cost,” said Madison Township Fire Chief Robert Bates.
The department considered purchasing a ready-made vehicle to hasten the process.
“We need it earlier than later, but we felt going new and getting exactly what we wanted was worth the wait,” said Lt. Jim Looney. “It takes 10 to 12 months to get the truck delivered.”
According to Looney, the new Pierce engine will be equipped with front and side air bags in the event of a collision, electrical stability control, a rearview camera, foam system and 100 percent LED lights, which improve visibility and decrease demand on the alternator.
The engine is the same height, but four feet shorter than its predecessor and contains more overall storage, according to firefighter Howard Hahn.
Bates said by paying the bill up front, it affords the township the opportunity to shave $29,958 off the cost.
“The insurance settlement allows us to do that,” said Bates. “Once we enter the contract, the insurance company starts the settlement process. At some point, we’re going to get a check for $550,000.”