MOUNT VERNON — After 26 years, Mount Vernon’s 1992 Sutphen ladder truck has reached the end of its firefighting career. When the new Quint ladder truck arrives, probably in November, the Sutphen will go on the auction block, but it can no longer be used as an emergency response vehicle.
Fire Chief Chad Christopher explained that when the Federal Emergency Management Agency awards grants for new fire trucks they also try to get older vehicles that don’t meet the newer National Fire Prevention Association standards off the street.
“We can’t sell it to another town or department as an emergency response vehicle,” he said, adding that there are companies that can refurbish old trucks and bring them up to modern standards, but a company that does that wasn’t interested in it.
Christopher said they know what the truck will bring as scrap, so they’ve set that as a minimum bid ($5,500). There may be some farmers or a village that could use the aerial capability, although he doesn’t expect it, or a training center might be interested, but all the schools they have contacted aren’t interested, partly due to the cost of keeping it running.
“Since we’re hoping to have the new truck in November in time for the Christmas parade, we’ll probably put the old one up for bid about the first of the month,” said Safety-Service Director Joel Daniels. “The language for the acceptable disposal of the old truck is right out of the FEMA grant agreement.”
Christopher said the new truck is smaller than the old one, which will make it easier to negotiate some of Mount Vernon’s narrow streets, and it has a 75-foot ladder and bucket.
Actually, he said, the truck looks good for its age, but is out of service right now because of an electrical problem and the truck is at the point they have to decide how much is worth putting into the vehicle to keep it running.