Little truck has big mission

FAIRMONT – A quarter million is a lot of money, especially for sparsely populated townships, which is why when the time came to purchase a new “quick attack” fire truck, cooperation between Martin County’s townships and the city of Fairmont was essential.

On Wednesday, United Township representatives, farmers and Fairmont firemen gathered to appraise their newly acquired truck – Engine 1.

“With our fire department we have to serve the farmers outside the city of Fairmont, plus the city of Fairmont, so the truck we just replaced responds to all calls,” said Bob Atzenhoefer, Fairmont fireman and chair of the truck committee.

The “first out” truck, as he called it, is the first to arrive on scene for a “quick attack.”

“It gets three of our guys there as quick as possible,” Atzenhoefer said. “… We had trouble with the last one. It was shot.”

Speed is everything when it comes to fighting fires.

“By the time the big pumpers get there, this little truck will hopefully have everything under control,” said Randy Musser, president of United Township. “It will probably be able to handle about 75 percent of fires, if it can get there on time.”

The vehicle cost $212,000. The total was split between the city of Fairmont and United Township, which is comprised of eight townships. Individually, the purchase would not have been feasible.

“It’s a good relationship for all of us,” Atzenhoefer said. “Fairmont Fire benefited from it, and of course, the townships and everyone else will too.”