Belleville Welcoming the Arrival of New Ambulance, Fire Engine
BELLEVILLE, NJ – April 20, 2020 – The arrival of two new emergency response vehicles will give a boost to the township’s first responders, who have been on the front lines in the hour-by-hour fight against COVID-19. Belleville’s new fire engine is set to go into service this week, followed in a couple of weeks by the new ambulance.
“Outfitting the township’s first responders with state-of-the-art equipment has never been more important,” Mayor Michael Melham said.
“We are proud and deeply appreciative of the courageous work they do and we know they will use these vehicles and this equipment to save lives.”
The Ferrara custom pumper, which can supply 2,000 gallons per minute for the fire department, was blessed by Belleville Fire Chaplin Fr. Ivan Sciberras of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church last week.
The pumper’s shiny red exterior is adorned with the Belleville Fire Department’s logo as well as two fleur-de-lis – an homage to the township’s French roots and a nod to the fact the engine was assembled in Baton Rouge, La.
Although the pumper has arrived at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the process of purchasing the engine began about nine months ago, said Marty Lutz, Belleville’s deputy fire chief and emergency management coordinator.
During the process, township officials worked to design it. Once it arrived, they had to inspect it, equip it and train on it.
The pumper will use some rescue and extrication equipment that was purchased through a grant the fire department secured.
The new engine will work out of Station 2 on Washington Avenue. It will replace a 20-year-old engine, which can be used if a spare if needed.
The process of purchasing and designing the ambulance also goes back several months. The Ford F450 was custom built and manufactured by Florida-based McCoy Miller.
It will be equipped with oxygen, radios and trauma bags that are stocked with first aid items such as bandages and gauze. The ambulance will work out of the Fire Department Headquarters at 275 Franklin Ave., and it will replace a 13-year-old vehicle that will go into reserve.
The ambulance needs an inspection by the state health department, a standard procedure, before it can go into service. The township bonded to pay for the pumper ($450,000) and the ambulance ($225,000). “Whenever we get new equipment, it brings up the morale,” Lutz said. “It reflects well on the town because it shows the town is investing in its first responders. Our first responders really appreciate it and it means a lot to them to get the latest equipment.”