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Leominster Fire Department Gets a ‘phenomenal’ New Truck

October 30, 2017 GMT

LEOMINSTER -- When it comes to getting new equipment, the Leominster Fire Department will go to great lengths to make sure it’s getting what it wants and needs.

Most recently, that comes in the form of a 2017 Pierce Arrow XT Pump truck which arrived Friday, a project Deputy Chief Gary Ranno calls the easiest of the three vehicle designs the department has had since 2012.

Ranno, one of three major committee members who look into the engineering and purchase of new vehicles along with master mechanic David Comeau and firefighter Randall Pouliot, says the $577,000 vehicle is a major upgrade over the department’s previous equipment.

“The Pierce trucks are phenomenal,” Ranno said Sunday. “That doesn’t mean that a lot of back and forth doesn’t happen between us and the manufacturer. We have a lot of discussions and we go out (to Pierce’s manufacturing facility in Wisconsin) to make sure things are being done to our specifications.

“It’s different than some cities and towns, where the fire department doesn’t get input or there’s a huge committee. Sometimes a bigger group makes things tougher. Even with us, there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t completely love what we get.”

The committee sent a basic request to the company, with Pierce responding with options for what they’d like to build. Ranno said the fire department mulls the options and that the manufacturer won’t reveal prices until the department makes its choice, so as to not sway the decision with a monetary value.

A three-day visit follows once the engine nears completion and Pouliot, Coumeau, and Ranno -- with a background as a car dealership mechanic -- pick apart the equipment, making sure it fits what they need and visualized.

“We look from the front bumper to the rear bumper. We go over everything,” Ranno said. “We’ve found things in the past that we had them make changes to; it’s not always perfect.”

But Ranno says this project -- Engine 4 -- is everything the department had hoped for and they’re “set for now” when it comes to equipment, noting that after this, the routine replacement of an ambulance here or there may follow.

He gives credit to Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella for making sure those who protect the city are working with functional vehicles.

“I’ve got to give credit to Mayor Mazzarella; he doesn’t give us everything, but he makes sure our equipment is as good as we can get,” Ranno said. “He does the same for the police department, the DPW. ... I’ll certainly give him credit for that.”