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Wilton Rolls Out The Red Carpet For New Fire Engine

Wilton Fire Department firefighters from left, Brian Elliott, Kevin Plank, Ralph Nathanson and Deputy Chief AMark Amatrudo, Ralph Nathanson, stand in front of Engine 4, the new addition to the department's fleet, following a ceremony Wednesday. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Wilton Fire Chief Ronald Kanterman stands in front of the new fire engine that the Wilton Fire Department officially welcomed into its service Wednesday. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

WILTON, Conn. -- In a symbolic gesture, a pail of water was taken out of the former Engine 4 and poured into the new Engine 4 during a ceremony at Wilton Fire Department headquarters on Wednesday.

Fire Chief Ronald Kanterman said it was also symbolic that the ceremony welcoming the new Engine 4 occurred on the second anniversary of when Superstorm Sandy ripped through the area.

"Firefighters here and and everywhere in the country were out days and weeks and months trying to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve. This truck will do the same," he said.

First Selectman Bill Brennan said the town strongly supports the fire department and said the new engine will be invaluable in fighting fires. He also praised the six-member fire department committee that spent three years investigating and reviewing everything that was needed to buy the equipment.

"This is not a simple piece of equipment. It is very complex. It takes a lot of specs to get this exactly the way we want it," Brennan said. 

Brian Elliott, one of the committee members, told the crowd at Wednesday's ceremony that it's not like you head to a fire engine dealer's lot and buy a new piece of equipment.

"It's probably more like custom building your home from start than going to car dealership to buy a car," he said.

Elliot was joined by fellow committee members, Deputy Fire Chief Mark Amatrudo, Ralph Nathanson and Kevin Plank at Wednesday's ceremony. Two committee members, Tom Coon, who retired from the fire department, and Brad Carlson, were not at the ceremony.

The $650,000 Engine 4 carries 2,500 gallons of water making it the engine of choice when neighboring towns need extra water to fight fires, Kanterman said after the ceremony. It will also be used when needed in north Wilton where there is no municipal water supply, he said.

The previous Engine 4 that has served the department since 1994 is for sale. He said that sale is being done through brokers.

The department has three other engines, Truck 5, and two smaller vehicles. The department has a complement of 24 firefighters, along with Chief Kanterman, Deputy Chief Amatrudo, the fire marshal and the fire inspector.

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