CHESTER — The Chester Volunteer Fire Department recently received the new fire truck which was purchased by the department.
Tanker 54 is the newest addition to the Chester VFD which will serve the community along with the dedicated and trained volunteers of the department.
Tanker 54 is also equipped as a a pumper, having a 2,500 tank and 1,250 gallon pumper. Chief Dave Edwards explained that the new truck can be a rolling pumper, meaning that the truck does not have to be stationary to pump. It can serve as a backup to the department’s engines should one of those be out of service for any reason when responding to structure fires.
The new truck replaces a 1987 GMC and is the first new truck purchased by the departments since 2009. Chester VFD plans to replace an aging fire truck every 10 years in order to continue providing the best service to the community.
Edwards explained that the department has been working to save funds for this truck since paying off the previous purchase. Those funds have come from chicken BBQs, raffles, the tax levy and other fundraisers which have all been supported by the residents of Chester Township and beyond.
Additionally, the department worked with Farmers Bank on a loan for the purchase. The new truck cost around $300,000.
Representatives from Farmers Bank worked with the department to acquire the new truck and were invited to be part of the celebration photo, as well as a tour of the station and the truck.
The volunteers gave a tour of their department and proudly walked around each truck showing special equipment on each.
“It’s easy to tell when talking with the volunteers that they are a firefighter family,” noted Lori Miller who works with Farmers Bank and is a volunteer with Loyalty is Forever.
There are members who have been with the department since the early years where the truck was open sided, including Bob Wood, who has volunteer with the department for more than five decades, who explained that it was quite an experience responding to a call in the winter with the open sided truck.
It is the support of the community which allows the department to purchase trucks like Tanker 54.
“It has been a lot of chicken BBQs, drawings, the levy funds, a lot of support from the community,” said Edwards. “There are many who deserve a big round of applause for making this happen.”
From chicken BBQs and homemade ice cream to the purchase of the Firehouse 12 calendars from Loyalty is Forever, the support of the community is key in helping the department to continue to have dependable and safe equipment to answer calls to serve the community.
A portion of the information provided by Lori Miller.