NORWICH – More than one year after the Norwich Fire Department’s 30-year-old ladder truck was removed from service due to its unsafe condition, a new apparatus has finally taken its place, thus bringing the department’s months-long search for an aerial tuck to an end.
The replacement apparatus - a 1994 E-One model with a 100-foot ladder - arrived at the Norwich Fire Department on Thursday. Despite initial fears that the purchase of a replacement truck would prove too costly for the city’s already stringent budget, city officials approved the purchase of the truck for an amount not to exceed $110,000 - a far reach from original estimates of $1.3 million for a new truck or $700,000 for a demo.
Financing for the replacement apparatus depleted the department’s reserve accounts but according to Fire Chief Tracy Chawgo, hopes are to offset some of the costs through sale of the department’s former aerial, which may be “parted out” to other fire companies to get the most money for it. Volunteers also plan to host fundraising events in the future to help replenish the department’s reserve account.