Checking In with Fire Chief Woodside: New Truck and Ambulance

Only Weston uses bottled water to put out fires

So, one of the things you probably know about the Owl by now is that she loves trucks and police cars and cool public safety stuff. You can read past posts on the K9 Knoxmobile, the Police EV Cruiser and our new watering Gator vehicle. Have you ever played two truths and a lie? Yeah, well, if you have, you will know there is no link on the last vehicle, and there are a lot of verrrrrrry unhappy new town trees. No one cares. Well, the Owl cares. Wait, what was I talking about? Ah yes, trucks.

Over the last few weeks, the Weston Fire Department has accepted delivery on not ONE but TWO cool vehicles, and earlier this week, the Owl flew on by, along with Wes-TEN anchor Alyson Muzila, to ask lots of questions, and to kick the $1100 tires. No, we didn’t, because our allowance does not cover that.

First off is the “Pride of the (Desirable) Southside” pumper truck, which is officially known as “E-3” and will live at the fire house on South Avenue where it will have few opportunities to get into conservation woods but will be super close when the J ramp Mass Pike craziness happens. By the way, don’t get into numbers with the chief because it hurts your head–that’s the E-One E-3 at Station 2 so yeah, never mind. It’s big and red and was approved by the town as Article 17 on May 15, 2021. Yes, it took that long to make, and it can’t actually ride the potholed roads of Weston yet because it has not been registered and the Weston Police are just waaaaittting for the Fire department to make a mistake before the 5K Throwdown (see here).

One of the owlets questioned the 0 to 60 of a fire truck (worry, Weston, because that Owlet will be permitted to drive in November). This question stumped the Chief for a moment until he answered “sloooowwwwww” which I guessed as 60 seconds and that was not argued about so yeah, basically can outstrip a Prius but not much else.

The Chief calculating. the land speed of a truck. Slow.

Other tidbits of fun from the Chief were that there are 6 firefighters on duty at any time on the coveted northside, and 2 on the desirable southside. Oh fine, it seems like the northside would win but actually everyone covers everything and central Weston (that would be Route 20 to Route 30) has mega coverage. Sadly this fact does not fit into my competitive nature.

Did you know that all firefighters can drive both fire trucks and ambulances or any other vehicle in the motor pool? And they are all EMTs which is cool. Also, I could watch them back these humongous vehicles into the station ALL DAY–they don’t even slow down. Me? I have a Van Gogh SUV which met the garage trim.

Seriously amazing parking

Currently, Weston has one of its trucks on loan to our neighbor to the east, Waltham, where it is helping out while Waltham waits patiently in line for their own truck to be manufactured. I asked the Chief if there was any secondary market for used fire trucks and he said not for northeastern trucks which I found really discriminatory until the obvious “salt destruction” was mentioned. None of our fire trucks is four-wheel drive, but they all get tire chains in the winter if any storm is on the horizon.

And now on to vehicle number 2 which is the Ambulance “A-1”, so far unnamed but could be the Ouch Patrol. The Getouttamyway. It’s also red. Did we think about green or orange or anything? Hmmm, forgot to ask that. Now the ambulance has taken a long time to get here because of SCI, also known as Supply Chain Issues, having to do with a run on chassis. “Chassis” is a favorite word, by the way. Frenchy and techy all in one. The ambulance purchase was approved by Town Meeting way back in September 2020 (Article 16) out there on Proctor Field hooray! The town shouldered $250K while an anonymous donor gave $100K which is amazing.

0 to 60 on an ambulance? Again, no exact time but not slower than a fire truck and maybe faster than K9 Knox or even General Knox dragging huge cannon. The ambulance calls Boston Post Road home and was out on a call when we got there, driven by one of our newest firefighters. He did not attempt to reverse into the station so I am suspicious.

After all the trucky talk, we got to talking about the upcoming 5K. Have you all heard about it? Yes, you have so sign up. I might have to bet on Team Fire as it turns out Chief Woodside ran cross country at Weston HS and even had Monz as his coach. What? True story. Maybe K9 Knox will have to run after all although he has a boo boo on his ACL.

As always, it’s a pleasure to meet with our town public safety folks and climb into and onto various vehicles. The Fire Department will host an Open House on October 15 which is the same date as… guessed it, the 5K!

In the meantime, we hope you all do not have the need for a visit from E-1, E-2 or E-3 or A-1 or A-2 (you sunk my battleship!), but if you do, know you are in good hands.

Go ‘cats!

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