New life for rescue truck

The Glenmoor Volunteer Fire Department has a new rescue truck in service after having its 21-year-old truck renovated. Shown with the truck are (clockwise from front): Kinsey Smith, Chief Matt Smith, firefighter Rich Thrasher, 3rd Lieutenant Derek Smith and 1st Lieutenant Kameron Kosek. (Photo by Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert)

GLENMOOR — A truck which served the Glenmoor Volunteer Fire Department for more than 20 years has gained new life after a complete renovation that Chief Matt Smith said saved the department and taxpayers money.

The 1996 F-350 rescue truck was purchased new for the department from the Fire-Fly Company in Cranesville, Pa. and when department officials began discussing ways to replace the truck at the most reasonable cost, they turned to the same firm.

Smith said First Lieutenant Kameron Kosek and firefighter Andy Bayless were instrumental in the discussion on how to best afford a new truck and decided rather than buy a new one to renovate the old one.

Over a period of months, Rescue 37 has been transformed into Rescue 33, with a 2017 F-550 chassis; replacing the two-wheel-drive with all-wheel-drive; the gasoline engine with diesel.

The truck now holds 300 gallons of water instead of 250 gallons and is equipped with a 250 gallon-per-minute pump, which Smith said is a higher capacity than the original pump.

New paint, new diamond plate and even a custom-made “R-33” license plate detail finished the job, and Smith said the only thing that isn’t new is the back-end box.

He and Kosek said about 95 percent of the truck is now new.

Compared to the estimated $250,000 cost of a new rescue truck, the renovation cost $140,000.

“That’s a significant savings to the department and to taxpayers,” Smith noted.

He said Kosek and Bayless “put their heart and soul into making this a reality,” saying, “I’m so proud of these guys and what they accomplished with this truck.”

Kosek said it required six months of being “on the phone every day” to get the project under way and completed.

The truck was placed into service just this past weekend, with a twist: Its first public appearance was in the East Liverpool Christmas parade, but firefighters had to leave the procession to answer a call.