2nd company advises Belmont Fire's engine 2 is not worth refurbishing

BELMONT — Fire Chief Dave Parenti said yesterday that he has gotten a second opinion regarding the condition of Engine 2 and has recommended to the town administrator that it not be refurbished.

Gary Wadland, a shop foreman for McDevitt Truck in Manchester, said, "I do not believe in my professional opinion it would be in your best interest to invest in refurbishing this unit."

McDevitt's opinion is similar to the one Parenti received on November 4 from Repair Service of New England (RSNE) that evaluated the engine, air system, brake system and radiator.

"Professionally speaking, I would not recommend putting the time nor the money into this unit not knowing what other issues may arise," wrote RSNE owner Ricky Gagnon.

Parenti has discussed adding a warrant article to the 2014 warrant for a $200,000 refurbishment of the engine but had told selectmen he wanted to have the truck evaluated — especially for rusted frame rails.

The RSNE report was presented to selectmen two weeks ago, however no mention was made of the condition of the frame and Selectman Jon Pike asked for a second opinion.

Along with the same problems identified by RSNE with the engine, radiator, air system and brakes, McDevitt said the "major decline is the frame rail and body rust, of what we can see and can't see."

He went on to say that "there is no repair for frame rails having rust between them, only the replacement of the rails."

Parenti said yesterday that Engine 2 is the third engine to respond to a fire. It is a 1997 Pierce ES460. He said that if the department were to refurbish it, he would expect to use it for 10 more years — five as a second line truck and five as a third line truck.

Should the selectmen choose not to refurbish it, he would placing it on the town warrant for 2015 and having it in service by early 2016.

There are three engines in Belmont, said Parenti. Engine 1 is the first response vehicle and is two years old. He said it is scheduled for replacement in 2031. Engine 3 is the second truck to respond and is scheduled for replacement in 2020.

Parenti said Engine 1 is the primary attack engine while Engine 3 is primary used during a fire as a water source. Currently, Engine 2 works as a replacement for either of those two engines when they are out of service for repairs or for simultaneous calls.

Selectmen were scheduled to review the two recommendations at their meeting yesterday.