Woolwich first responders dedicate new fire truck

Posted:  Monday, November 20, 2017 - 7:45am

Woolwich’s new fire truck, Engine 2, officially went into service Sunday afternoon following a ceremony that included a blessing of the vehicle and dedication of the truck to a 44-year fire department veteran.

Standing in front of the newly arrived Freightliner pumper-rescue truck, Fire Chief Mike Demers welcomed area firefighters. Wiscasset, Dresden, West Bath, Bath, Randolph and other area fire departments were represented. Demers said Woolwich’s first responders were very grateful to the community for its support in buying the truck last April. The vehicle was custom-built to the department’s specifications over the last nine weeks.

Engine 2 was dedicated to Capt. Larry J. Albert of Old Stage Road. Albert has been a faithful member of the department for 44 years. He said he has no plans to retire anytime soon. The highlight of the ceremony was when Albert knelt next to the truck to attach a plaque to the body. The plaque bore his name. Demers  gave Albert the honor of radioing the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department to report Woolwich Fire Deparmtnent’s Engine 2 was officially in service.

Selectman Jason Shaw told the audience inside the firehouse, Albert’s “care and concern for the safety of Woolwich is proudly displayed every time he responds to a call.”

Demers said there are a few time-honored traditions when departments christen a new fire truck. Harking back to the days of horse-drawn fire equipment, firefighters often push the new vehicle into the firehouse. Another is to hose down the truck. Instead of doing either, Demers decided to pump water from the old tanker into the new one which took just a few minutes.

The Rev. Dr. Alan Baughcum, pastor of Day’s Ferry Congregational Church, blessed the truck and led a prayer for the safety of all first responders.

Engine 2 will be the primary response truck for all emergencies, Demers said. He said the truck is equipped with a compressed air foam system requiring about a third less water to extinguish a fire. It can handle all types of fires. The truck is fully equipped to respond to auto accidents and fuel spills, has a pumping capacity of 1,250 gallons per minute, and has a telescoping light tower to provide illumination during emergency calls at night, reducing the risk of injuries to first responders.

The department’s 1998 pumper will be housed at the north station.