New Salem fire chief informs Selectboard on need to replace fire engine

  • The New Salem Fire Station on South Main Street. Contributed Photo

  • The New Salem Fire Station on South Main Street. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 12/28/2021 3:54:59 PM
Modified: 12/28/2021 3:54:31 PM

NEW SALEM — The town’s fire chief went before the Selectboard this week to bring members up to speed on the condition of one of his department’s fire engines.

Fire Chief Joe Cuneo said the oldest of his four trucks is holding its own right now, but he wanted to make the town aware of the situation.

“It still functions, it still pumps. We’re still able to use it,” he told Selectboard members at Monday’s virtual meeting. “It’s still, essentially, fully in business right now. But there’s a lot of things about it you would want to look at replacing.

“At this point, I don’t foresee the frame failing,” he added.

About a year ago, he said, a vendor quoted a new replacement at roughly $650,000, for all the specifications New Salem would need it to have. The purchase of a new fire engine would have to first go through the Finance Committee and come down to a citizens’ vote at Town Meeting.

Cuneo told the Greenfield Recorder the current truck is 34 years old and has a considerable amount of rust. He said the town purchased it, used, from a small Vermont town for roughly $45,000 in 2006. The chief said that, like any vehicle, it can remain functional if parts are routinely replaced.

“We’ve gone more than the extra mile to make sure that everything is in service,” he told the Recorder.

Once replaced, Cuneo said the 34-year-old fire engine could be sold for scrap or to a collector. He said his department replaced a 1972 Mack tanker three years ago and sold it.

“Suffice to say, it has a value to people who have Macks,” he said.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.

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