NORWOOD, NJ -- The Norwood Fire Department's 30-year-old firetruck will soon be back in full-time service for what firefighters hope will be at least another decade.
The1985 model reserve firetruck, the oldest of three in operation in the borough, cost $130,000 or so to refurbish -- versus $600,000 for a new truck.The work included a new pump, rust removal and the construction of an enclosed cab so that seven firefighters can ride inside the vehicle rather than up in back."We didn't know which way to go with it," said Assistant Chief Michael Congiusti. "It took a lot of time, a lot of emails, a lot of phone calls back and forth.Congiusti took charge of the project, applying for funding, reading specifications, and understanding requirements.
"I love this truck. I grew up with it," he said. "It's extremely loud when it goes down the street."Congiusti and Fire Chief Brian Bourke were both 15 when they came through the department's youth program together -- its youngest ever -- following in family members' footsteps.
Two Bergen County repair shops worked on the unit for months before Mayor James Barsa made the inaugural drive from Harrington Park to Norwood -- a long-standing borough tradition with any new firetruck.
"We got it on Thursday, and it needs a couple of things still,"Congiusti said, "but I made sure when I picked it up that I didn't cross the Norwood borough line."