The Chelsea Fire Department recently received two new pieces of fire apparatus, and at the moment both are being outfitted a preparing to be put into service.
First, the new Ladder 2, which replaces a 1999 aerial that runs from the Mill Hill Station on Broadway, was purchased by the City as part of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). This new truck is currently being customized with equipment and going through the training process, and will be in service by the end of November.
The addition of this new ladder truck gives the department a viable spare aerial device that can be placed in service when a front line ladder is down for service or repairs, which is a great safety net for the city.
Second, the new Rescue 1 will replace the current Squad 5 and a step van that was utilized as a Special Operations vehicle.
This Rescue was acquired through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program that was applied for by Fire Chief Len Albanese.
This $600,000 Rescue was obtained at only a 10 percent co-share by the City. This truck will be equipped with Special Operations equipment, most of which has been provided to the City through the Metro Boston Urban Area Strategic Initiative (UASI) program. As part of the regional preparedness, Chelsea specializes in Technical Search for structural collapse.
When needed for Regional Response, this new Rescue can quickly get a large amount of equipment and to the scene of an incident. This truck will be customized next, once the Ladder is completed. Then the department will conduct additional training and the project will be completed by the end of the year if not sooner.
The department hopes to be able to eventually staff this Rescue with the expansion of the additional eight firefighters obtained through SAFER Grant.
For now, it will be in service – unmanned and taken when needed, the same way the current Squad 5 has been used.
“My goal with the SAFER grant that provided eight additional firefighters and the acquisition of the Rescue was to get more boots on the ground in the field and eventually get the Rescue staffed,” said Chief Albanese. “The city manager and the council have made a commitment to support funding for these projects. Time will tell if we are able to bring this goal to fruition within our budget. There are several factors that will affect that possibility.”