Chuckatuck Volunteer Fire Department volunteers Jeff Parsons and Henry White, as well as Fire Chief Greg Parsons, with the 22-year-old fire truck that is being replaced with a new pumper. The organization is holding a fundraising fish fry next weekend and invites community members to attend.

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New fire truck ordered for Chuckatuck

Published 10:31pm Friday, June 1, 2012

Fire and rescue services in Suffolk will be enhanced when Chuckatuck Volunteer Fire Department takes delivery of a new fire truck, Fire Chief Greg Parsons said.

Due to arrive in about seven months after a contract was recently signed, the 2012 Pierce Arrow XT pumper carries 750 gallons of water and pumps 1,250 gallons per minute, Parsons said.

It also has advanced life-support medical equipment as well as vehicle extraction equipment.

Department Vice President Jacob Johnson said the new six-person truck has “a little bit of a retro styling. It looks very similar to the old truck.

“It has the classic look that everyone associates with a fire truck.”

Parsons said the old truck has been in service for 22 years.

“It has limited space to carry equipment,” he said, adding it will be sold, probably to a smaller fire department elsewhere.

“We planned to replace it long before it turned 20.”

The new truck meets special criteria to carry the medical equipment, Parsons said. “It would take a considerable retrofit on the other truck to make that work,” he added.

It also has features non-existent in the old truck to improve the safety of the fire crew, such as airbags and stability control, he said.

“It’s a benefit to the community, and it enhances the safety of the responding personnel,” he said.

Each year, the volunteer organization raises more than 60 percent of its operating budget from the generosity of individuals and groups.

Parsons said donations are vital to the survival of the fire department, which will pay for 55 percent of the new truck, with the city contributing the rest.

On the fundraising front, the organization is holding its annual fish fry from 4-7 p.m. June 9 at the fire department building on Kings Highway, with tickets costing $9 in advance or $10 at the door.

“It’s one of our largest, if not the largest, fundraisers,” Johnson said. “We serve about 1,700 people.”

Fire department volunteers will join with volunteers from the Chuckatuck Ruritan Club and local churches to prepare and serve the food, he said.

“It’s a big community event for a lot of organizations as well,” he added. “People come from pretty far away just as an excuse to come home, and it turns into a social event for a lot of folks.

“It helps our department tremendously with funding, and even just community support.”

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