Reedsville Fire Co. rescues its rescue truck, tanker

REEDSVILLE – The rescue truck has been rescued, along with its companion tanker.

The roof of the engine garage for the Reedsville Fire Company, which collapsed on Monday, has been raised and the two company trucks inside have been removed.

Starting at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, workers from W.S. Miller and Sons Inc., Mike’s Landscaping and Excavating, and Crider-Mitchell Construction, began to reinforce the front beam of the building. The companies had to be sure that, while raising the beam, the cinder blocks on the beam would not fall down and cause any injuries. The companies brought in a total for four pieces of equipment including three forklifts and a backhoe, to help either to support the beam or to raise it. The right side of the building sustained more damage so workers focused their attentions first on getting the rescue truck out of the right side of the building. After the rescue vehicle was out of the building, members of the fire company inspected the vehicle and determined that damage was sustained to the cab light pole and the back only sustained some dents and scratches. The company determined the vehicle could be operational and at 5:30 p.m. placed rescue 6-1 in service.

Once the rescue vehicle was out of the building, W.S. Miller and Sons Inc. began to build support scaffolding to be able to shift the forklifts and backhoe to begin the process of removing the tanker truck from the garage. The tanker truck was able to be taken out safely and members were able to assess the damage to the vehicle. Company members were able to determine that no serious damage was done to the tank or tank pump, and the damage to the cab was with the top light being pushed into the roof and the smoke stack was missing. With damage being similar to the rescue vehicle, members were able to put the tanker truck into service at 5:44 p.m. As of Tuesday night, the front beam was being supported by scaffolding, which will stay up until the plans for the building are finalized.

Brown Township Secretary Teresa King said now that all of the vehicles are out of the building, a vehicle insurance adjuster will be able to come out today and asses the official cost of the damage and the insurance agent will be able to look at the damage to the building. She also said members of the company and the insurance agent need to sit and discuss the damages together.

“I do not believe we will know the full cost of the damage until next week,” King said.

During the regularly scheduled meeting of the Brown Township Board of Supervisors, the supervisors decided to put any insurance money received into the new building for the fire company. King said that plan will determine the outcome of the discussions with the insurance agent. King continued to say that the Mifflin County Planning Commission will have the building plans on Monday for their meeting, and the architect for the building should be able to start the bidding process for the building next week.

“We want to be able to get this building up and functional as quickly as possible,” she said. “If we did not speed the process up it could have been until next winter that the plans were done.”

For the time being the fire engine and rescue vehicle are being housed at the township municipal building, while the tanker engine is being housed at the Milroy Hose Company firehouse.

King said an account was opened with the Juniata Valley Bank for the fire company, for residents to make donations, if they wish, to help offset any costs that the insurance company will not pay, and she emphasized that those costs have not yet been determined.

“Interested residents can go to any JVB branch and say the money is for the Reedsville Fire Company,” King said.

She added, “The Reedsville Fire Company and Brown Township would like to thank Mike Watson, of Mike’s Landscaping, and Steve Mitchell, of Crider-Mitchell Construction, for going above and beyond to help the company. They would also like to thank the other local companies for their support to help house the equipment.”