Ready To Roll

Thanks to a roughly $500,000 federal grant, the Jamestown Fire Department was able to replace two of its decades-old emergency vehicles with a new pumper truck and ambulance.

On Friday, Mayor Sam Teresi, Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey and members of the JFD assembled outside the department’s Station 1 at city hall to usher in the new vehicles with an “in-service” ceremony.

“The city has struggled for years to maintain service,” Harvey said. “But instead of having to make a (budget) choice on whether to fund new equipment or keep people on the job … this grant allowed us to keep people on the job. Receiving it was a godsend.”

The grant – aptly titled the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) – was the result of several individuals who saw the need to replace the department’s 34-year-old open cab engine pumper and 20-year-old ambulance.

Totalling $464,364, the AFG was accompanied by $51,596 of local funds, for a grand total of $515,960.

The new pumper and ambulance, costing $393,823 and $114,599 respectively, were specifically chosen for their design and quality, with greater resistance to corrosion and warranties of 20 years.

“There have been a lot of heroes in this whole effort,” Teresi said. “We could have spent a heck of a lot more on this equipment … (but instead) we got the best of the best in this department who figured out economical ways of equipping this truck and saving the taxpayers money. I tip my hat to the whole department for not only pulling this off, but doing it in a way that was affordable to the taxpayers of this city.”

Teresi further thanked Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand for their support as well as Congressmen Brian Higgins and Tom Reed.

Other acknowledgements included Chief Harry Snellings; Chief Matthew J. Russo for authoring the grant request; Battalion Chief Roger Sigular and Fire Alarm Maintenance Supervisor Cris Dahlgren for their work on vehicle design and bid specifications; Comptroller Joe Bellitto for authoring the financial narrative for the grant; Lieutenant Andrew Finson for setting up the truck post-delivery; and the city council for appropriating the match dollars.

“Bottom line -this is another Jamestown success story,” Teresi said. “People are working together and putting the interests of the community first and we see the results right here. These two pieces of equipment will make what I consider the best fire department you’re going to find anywhere.”