MFD picks up new fire engine

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The Madisonville Volunteer Fire Department has a new truck that could eventually result in lower insurance rates.

The $650,000 Pierce pumper truck – complete with $100,000 worth of equipment – arrived earlier this month. An official unveiling ceremony is planned for Feb. 27.

Madisonville Fire Chief Thom Jones explained that the state issues an “ISO fire suppression rate” to each community, which grades things like water supply and distribution, equipment, manpower and fire alarms. Ranked on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best, the ISO gauges how well a fire department can protect its community. Madisonville’s current ISO is 7, and Jones said they hope to lower it to a 5, which would allow for lower insurance rates.

“[The purchase of a new truck] gives us a total of three pumpers, and in order to lower our ISO rating, we are required to have three pumpers,” Jones said. “The two older trucks wouldn’t pass pump tests right now, but once we get everything in service, we can apply for a lower ISO rating.”

The pumper trucks respond to structure fires and vehicle accidents. The new one, Jones said, has a “full accompaniment of hoses and structure fire equipment” as well as jaws of life and tools for responding to accidents. The city and VFD both contributed to the purchase. This is the first time Madisonville has had three pumper trucks.

Jones said the local VFD responds to between 350 and 400 calls per year.

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