New Bethlehem Fire Company Attack Unit's new fire truck did not take long to prove its worth. On Nov. 28, just after 6 p.m., the company responded to a barn fire in the furthest possible location in their service area.
The barn was located on a small dirt road that prior to their new pumper truck acquisition was unreachable. The company was the first unit to arrive on scene.
"Boy, you got here quickly," Ed Goth, an emergency medical technician, with the fire company, recalled the property owner saying upon arrival.
The company was able to quickly put out the fire with little to no damage to the structure. The quick response and limited damage to property was all made possible through the purchase of a new fire truck that is specifically made for tough rural terrain.
"We responded to a fire in that area earlier last month (without this unit) and the response from the owner was: ‘what took us so long,’" recalled Goth.
The New Bethlehem Fire Company in New Bethlehem, Pa., received a $196,700 Community Facilities (CF) Direct Loan and $105,800 CF grant in Fiscal Year 2022 to purchase the new unit.
The original truck was unavailable for several years due to supply chain issues. They were able to locate another truck to purchase, but it was substantially more expensive than the original one. They applied for cost-overrun funding and received a $60,800 subsequent loan and $50,000 subsequent grant in Fiscal Year 2023 to purchase a Darcy Pumper Fire Truck. The project funding was approved Oct. 24th, 2023.
This specific truck is a first of its kind in this area as it can navigate small rural dirt roads where large pumper fire trucks are unable to access.
"Our intent with the purchase of this unit was to be able to respond to areas like this and to service our rural community quickly," Goth said. "As seen by our members and our citizens, we were able to respond quickly and safely. Last evening, we realized we are now able to accomplish that goal. We just wanted to let you know this and to thank you once again for all your help."