West Chester retiring 30-year-old fire truck

After decades of service in the West Chester Fire Department fleet, Heavy Rescue 71 has retired.

The 1984 Ford L9000 Ranger carried firefighters and specialized equipment as they responded to structure fires, car accidents, people trapped in machinery, and water and trench rescues among other emergencies for more than three decades, according to the township.

“A typical apparatus serves the residents for approximately 20 years, but the heavy rescue has outlasted them all,” Assistant Fire Chief Stephen Oughterson said in a statement.

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Instead of replacing the truck — which would have cost taxpayers an estimated $800,000 — fire officials shifted resources and re-worked response plans so that existing engine companies could fully shoulder rescue responses, officials said.

“We currently have two engines in strategic positions in the township that have the capability to carry all of the equipment that was on Heavy Rescue 71,” said Oughterson, adding that personnel are prepared for technical rescue runs because the department also houses the Butler County Technical Rescue Truck.

West Chester Fire Department is currently working with the trustees on plans to sell the decommissioned truck.

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