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The Middlesex Fire Department has initiated its newest firefighter into the department’s ranks, but unlike most 22-year olds entering the department, this one has the experience of a well-seasoned veteran.
This firefighter is not an actual fireman, but rather a 1997 Pierce Saber fire engine purchased from the Zebulon Fire Department when that organization purchased multiple new trucks last month.
The engine, which was given the service distinction of Engine 52, is capable of transporting six firefighters and 1,000 gallons of water to emergency calls and has a pump that will deliver 1,500 gallons per minute from a hydrant or other water access point.
With just under 31,000 miles on it, Engine 52 may have needed replacing in a rapidly growing town the size of Zebulon, but for a rural department like Middlesex, the truck is considered to be in its prime. Officials said it will serve residents of Middlesex and southern Nash County for many years to come without breaking the bank.
“A offer of $50,000 was made during a June Zebulon Town Council meeting, which was accepted,” said Middlesex fire Capt. Chris Tant. “This truck new would have cost between $320,000 and $350,000.”
Other than minor cosmetic work and rebranding the truck from Zebulon to Middlesex, no upgrades were needed on the truck other than to equip it, test it and place it into service.
“We are hoping to begin to move all the essential equipment Tuesday July 2, with a goal of having it in service that same day,” said Tant.