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WCFD retires Heavy Rescue 71 apparatus
After more than three 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 in response to structure fires; auto accidents; machinery entrapments; water, trench and collapse rescues; and other emergencies for more than 30 years.
“A typical apparatus serves the residents for approximately 20 years, but the Heavy Rescue has outlasted them all,” said Assistant Fire Chief Stephen Oughterson.
In lieu of replacing the truck, which would have cost taxpayers an estimated $800,000, fire officials instead shifted resources and re-worked response plans so that existing engine companies could fully shoulder the burden of technical rescue response.
“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 remain more than prepared for technical rescue runs since the department also houses the Butler County Technical Rescue Truck.
West Chester Fire Department is currently working with the West Chester Board of Trustees on plans to sell or auction the decommissioned truck.