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Macungie Gets a Big Firetruck From Emmaus for a Little Cash

A new ladder truck can cost between $500,000 and $1 million. Macungie Fire Department got a used one for $20,000.

The recently purchased a 1989 ladder truck from the for $20,000, a fraction of the more than $600,000 Emmaus spent on the truck it bought to replace it.

Macungie's new truck is a boon for several reasons, including the fact that insurance companies figure a municipality's ownership of such a truck into individual homeowner rates, though the effect depends on the policy.

The truck – which had but 7,000 miles on it when Macungie bought it – will respond to all dwelling and structure fires, said Macungie Fire Chief Mike Natysyn, and after being put into service on Christmas Day, has already been out a number of times.

Money was collected over the past five years through fundraisers, Natysyn said. None of the money came from the borough's annual budget.

The truck meets all current requirements and is fully certified, Natysyn said.

Jeff Sensenig, who owns Phoenix Fire, a company that maintains and services LTI firetrucks in New Holland, Lancaster County, agreed.

Since working on the truck in 2010 when it belonged to Emmaus, Sensenig said the truck "Is in pretty good shape," and that it should have "a good long life."

"Emmaus officials were told that it failed certification testing just to get rid of it," said Macungie Deputy Fire Chief Matt Sadrovitz.

"They made that comment just to raise money," Sadrovitz said.

At the Dec. 5, 2011 Emmaus Borough Council meeting at which Emmaus Council approved the sale of the truck to Macungie, Emmaus Council Member Brent Labenberg was among the most verbal regarding the truck, its price and its future use.

“Why is it that the next borough closest to us can purchase our used aerial truck and it is not good enough for us to keep?" he asked. "Why is it that some other company in Pennsylvania can purchase that truck and use it and back us up and we can’t use it?”

In response, Council Member Nathan Brown said, "Twenty years is the lifespan of an engine, a rescue or any other type of equipment they have. I was told this is 22 years old and it is time to move forward."

Another Emmaus council member questioned the sale price during the December meeting.

“Obviously I know this has been advertised, and I know how long this has been talked about, but this is the amount you get for a used regular car, not an aerial fire truck," said Emmaus Borough Council Member Wesley Barrett.

"I know what we just paid for a new one, and the estimate of what we would get for this one was between $50,000 and $60,000,” Barrett added.

An ad for a similar used truck asked $80,000 and had 116,000 miles on it. Another ad, a 1988 model with 22,000 miles on it, carried an asking price of  $99,500.

However, neither comparison is apples-for-apples.

According to an published in November 2010, the Emmaus' new aerial truck was estimated to cost $670,000. Council earmarked $350,000 of residents' tax money as its contribution.

danielson February 08, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Has to be a LOT more to this story, PLEASE follow up on it!
Black Sheep February 08, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Borough Council strikes AGAIN! Let's just give our stuff away. We seem to have so much left in the coffers - take from the taxpayers and give it all away. Typical.
An interested bystander February 08, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Agree with danielson, what's the rest of the story here?
Kate Bartholomew Ruch February 08, 2012 at 02:39 PM
I live in Macungie! Boo-ya!!!!! ;-)
Kate Bartholomew Ruch February 08, 2012 at 02:40 PM
(Finally something good about the Borough!)
Robert Sentner February 08, 2012 at 04:23 PM
wow 7,000 miles and it needs to be replaced....Winner Macungie
Jay Jones February 08, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Wow I guess all the local governments in the valley are outside there minds. Let's see the truck is 22yrs old 2 years older than the service life of the engine? Hello it has 7,000 miles on it, it's barely broken in those engines ate designed to run for 400,000 miles plus. What a bunch of idiots. Can someone please explain to me why emmaus even needs a ladder truck? It's not like there a booming metropolis with tall buildings! I'm sure if a ladder truck is needed, the major cities of the valley will help out. Nope instead emmaus will have no problem raising taxes to purchase there almost million dollar fire truck!
Cheryl Saul February 08, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Some days I am embarrassed to say I live in Emmaus. <sigh>
InFloodZone February 08, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Literally made me laugh out loud! (I'm a Macungie resident too)
Jason George February 08, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Nate Brown is clearly wrong in his comment that the lifespan of an engine is 20 years. With only 7,000 miles on it that truck should have been in use another 20 years. It just seems like no pays attention to this sort of idiocy. As far as what fire trucks typically sell for, that's not important. The sale price for something that is perfectly good has nothing to do with it. Read the story carefully. It's perfectly good and in service. What does Matt Sadrovitz mean when he says, "They made that comment just to raise money"?
Jason George February 08, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I'd like to plead with the authors of this story to follow up on it. I feel as journalists you should not let this sort of thing pass without some serious investigation.
Jay Jones February 08, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Now that I thought about it. The 7,000 miles it has on it are probably from driving to, in, and from parades for the past 22yrs!
kathy light February 08, 2012 at 11:17 PM
I knew there was reference to this before and the link is below. It looks like it was discussed, and it was challenged by a council member. But there was really no agreement to investigate further. http://emmaus.patch.com/articles/council-member-questions-fire-truck-cost-2
Chevy king February 08, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Alright folks, Emmaus fire has a 20 year replacement plan on all of their apparatus. The boro knew of this. Whether it has 3 miles or 300,000 miles. And to the question why do they need a ladder truck? Ridge 1 and 2, east penn1 and 2. When you cant reach a 6 story window with a 40 foot ladder...thats why.
John Doe February 09, 2012 at 12:43 AM
There are a few comments i would like to leave. 1) Jay Jones, learn proper grammar before you post something, instead of calling others "idiots" 2)What major cities are located in the Lehigh Valley? Allentown, and that's it. Emmaus was the one of the first stations in the county to purchase a ladder truck, why would they get rid of it just because the surrounding stations purchased one? 3) If you want to question why Emmaus needs a ladder truck, why not question why Macungie needs one? There is not one building in Macungie that cant be laddered with ground ladders. And might I add, there are FAR more power lines in Macungie, so i wish them luck with that. Like someone mentioned above, there are two sets of high rises in Emmaus..thus justifying the need for a ladder truck. 4) As far as i know, within the last ten years the truck hasn't been in any parades. EFD doesn't even put its own vehicles in its own Halloween parade, let alone elsewhere.
Christopher George February 16, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I also want to leave you with a little saying that I was brought up with......PARADES DONT PUT OUT FIRES OR SAVE LIVES!!!!! Idiots
Christopher George February 16, 2012 at 07:53 PM
I was a member of the Emmaus Fire Department when they purchased the LTI. This Apparatus was also on the run card for Lehigh Valley Hospital Center. Everyone is fixated on the cost and not the goals of that Department. This new apparatus has all of the Modern Safety Equipment on Established in accordance with the National Fire Protection Agency. Also the testing that Aerial Apparatus has to go thru is established Standard by NFPA. these orders are NFPA 1901 and NFPA1914. As a Certified Aerial Operator by IFSAC, Departments not only have to worry about heighth, but reach, working loads, and Collase Zones. This trucknot only covers the High Rises but also the Foundry and a few other building away from the road. This Truck also lowers your home owners and business insurance costs. Its called ISO Ratings.
Christopher George February 16, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Also to Go Along with the Rant and Ravings, This new Apparatus has a pump on it and the old one did not. With the lack of personnel comes the lack of response for additional equipment. I would love to have more capibilities on the scene right away than never show up at all. The primary goal of this Apparatus should be the SAFETY OF YOUR EMERGENCY RESPONDERS on Cost. I am quite sure their families and loved ones would agree with me.

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