Pickerington Times-Sun

Township borrows rescue unit while fire vehicle repaired

Fire officials are also awaiting a repair estimate on a damaged pumper truck

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Area residents who notice a Columbus Division of Fire rescue truck rolling through Pickerington and Violet Township should know township firefighters are on board.

"If you see a Columbus Fire rescue (truck) running around in Violet Township, it's our people," said Bill Yaple, Violet Township director of operations.

Violet Township continues to borrow the truck from Columbus while its own rescue vehicle remains in the shop, undergoing major service repairs.

The department is also without its regular pumper, Engine 593, after that vehicle was severely damaged in a rear-end accident in November.

"The truck is one of our fire engines that was struck by a motorist on Nov. 18 at 9:30 p.m.," said Violet Fire Chief John Eisel.

"The accident occurred at (State Route) 204 and Harmon Road as our truck was turning," Eisel said.

"Our truck was proceeding (on a) non-emergency to assist one of our medic units," he said.

The vehicle was transported 550 miles to Appleton, Wisc. Dec. 3 so its manufacturer, Pierce, can assess the damage and determine whether it can be fixed.

"It got to Pierce last week," Yaple said.

'We put it on a lowboy (trailer) and hauled it," he said.

Eisel said the extent of the damage remains undetermined as of Dec. 14, however, the township's insurance company, OTARMA, will decide whether its reparable or be declared a total loss.

"It is far too early to tell which direction this may go at this point, and we are not sure what course the insurance company will pursue, given the damage, the age of the truck and the cost of repairs," Eisel said.

While the damaged truck is evaluated and possibly repaired, the township will have to lease another truck.

Eisel told the Violet Township Board of Trustees Dec. 4 that the department first "has to see if our current policy will cover the amount specified in the lease agreement."

He gave the trustees an initial damage estimate of somewhere between $30,000 to $35,000 for the pumper.

"We have a replacement value on that truck in the amount of $270,000," Eisel said.

The fire truck the department has its eyes on to rent from Finley Fire Equipment is ironically one that is very familiar to the department.

"The truck we have available for us to rent is our old truck," Eisel said.