New Aerial Fire Truck Arrives

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The Beachcomber

Wednesday, July 1959 -- Vol. XXXII - No. 1 - FREE

{Incorporating the Hampton Beach Advocate}

NEW LADDER TRUCK purchased by the Hampton Beach Precinct was tried out by Fire Chief Perley R. George for the commissioners. The 65-foot Seagrave ladder outfit is mounted on a Ford chassis. The cost of the complete unit was $24,000. Left to right are John J. Foley, Chief George, Ralph T. Harris and Fred Gagne.

Drills are being conducted this week by Hampton Beach firemen to familiarize themselves with the operation of a new aerial ladder truck delivered to the department last week.

The new $24,000 truck was purchased by the Hampton Beach Village Precinct by a vote of 30 to 7 at its annual meeting, March 26, 1959, after a lengthy debate on the need for such a purchase. The cost of the vehicle is equivalent to 33 cents on the precinct tax rate for the next 12 years.

Fire Chief Perley R. George said the hydraulically operated ladder on the new truck can be extended 65-feet in any direction. The aluminum allow ladder can be extended full length horizontally, as well as vertically, for rescue from ice or water.

In emphasizing the need for the new ladder truck, Chief George said the ladders and other equipment on the old truck were 33 years old, although the chassis itself was only 18 years old. He said six men were needed to raise the old ladders, whereas two men can operate the new equipment. The fire department depends strongly on call firemen to assist in fire fighting operations, he said, and it is conceivable that six men could not be present at a fire in time to raise the old ladders for a rescue from an upper story.

He also said the old wooden ladders showed signs of dry rot and would have had to be replaced in the near future. He said the old outfit can be sold for approximately $2,500. This now, together with a $2,000 appropriation from the precinct will serve as the initial payment on the new vehicle. The remainder of the cost will be paid at the rate of $2,000 a year plus interest on revenue bonds.

Last week the new truck was on display at the annual convention of the New England Fire Chiefs' association at the Wentworth Hotel, New Castle.

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