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Wintersville gets its money’s worth

July 25, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

Residents served by Wintersville Fire and Rescue will be helped by the most up-to-date technology and fire trucks, thanks to the business skills of the department.

The leaders of a local fire department are generally skilled in fighting fires and managing a department full of volunteers. The task of getting community residents to volunteer at the fire department can alone be a full-time job.

But Wintersville Fire and Rescue's leaderships again has shown that the department is a step ahead of most area fire departments, including those that have full-time employees paid by a city.

The fire department realized that one of its trucks was nearing the time to either trade it in on a new model or face ever increasing maintenance costs and a future that showed lower resell values.

The department's treasurer, Mark Bevilacqua, who also is an assistant chief, saw interest rates on new trucks were low. Chief Robert Herrington and Bevilacqua also noticed the used fire truck market was pretty high because of numerous trucks destroyed by tornado outbreaks in the country's midsection.

Also, new fire truck manufacturers were hungry to make sales and were willing to lower costs.

The department was able to sell three trucks and buy three new replacements - an attack truck, an engine and a ladder truck. The trucks were purchased at a cost of $1.4 million. The department financed $1.2 million.

The trucks are outfitted with new hydraulic rescue tools used in vehicle wrecks. The equipment is now more powerful because today's vehicles are built stronger. The trucks contain many updates that make maintenance less expensive, such as LED lighting.

The department gets its money through property taxes collected in Wintersville and sections of Cross Creek and Island Creek townships. It also conducts fundraisers.

The fire department's leadership jumped on the supply and economic conditions to get three new vehicles for its fleet. Such a move showed financial wisdom that is normally seen in the boardroom of corporations.

As a result, residents who pay taxes for Wintersville Fire and Rescue know they are getting their money's worth and are getting the best equipment available.

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