Selectmen Approve $500,000 for New Fire Rescue Truck

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The Board of Selectmen last week approved a $500,000 contract with a Watertown-based company to build a new rescue truck for the New Canaan Fire Department. 

Bid proposals that came in for the new truck ranged higher than the budgeted half million dollar figure, so the department removed about $41,000 in modifications to the vehicle—some of which it hopes to re-add in the future, according to Fire Chief Jack Hennessey. 

“Everything we cut out we thought we needed,” including a 360-degree camera, Hennessey said during the selectmen’s regular meeting, held Jan. 7 at Town Hall.

“But we needed to make our number so we had to delete things. That was a lower-priority thing so we had to take as much stuff truck off of the truck as we could. There might be money in future budgets in other lines that we might be able to put some of these things back in. The electrical connections are in the truck. So at some point we might be able to install them. When we get to the design phase, we will go and talk to the builder and do some more negotiating. The price is kind of flexible. We had this price here in the contract but we will be taking things out and putting things in so the final price we will not know until the truck is delivered.”

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectman Kit Devereaux voted 2-0 to approve the contract with Gowans-Knight Co., Inc. Selectman Nick Williams was absent.

The vehicle’s base frame will be built in Michigan and shipped to Connecticut where the body will be built, Hennessey said.

The town approved the $500,000 capital item for the current fiscal year. 

Given a build time of approximately 14 months, the Fire Department expects delivery in March 2021, the chief said. There’s no additional delivery charge, he said.

Hennessey said other items that the department could see to have added to the truck in the future including a hearing protection system.

“We had to delete it just because of the dollar figure,” Hennessey said. 

He added, “Hearing loss is a problem when you work with a lot of equipment.”

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