Bloom Township gets new tanker

BLOOMVILLE – A tanker was welcomed to its new home at Bloom Township Volunteer Fire Department’s station Monday.

Chief Nate Blaser said the tanker, which holds 3,000 gallons of water, was purchased in July from Pike Township Fire Department in Indianapolis. The department has five stations, according to its website. The department no longer needed the tanker because there are hydrants in the area, Blaser said.

John’s Welding and Towing, which worked on the truck, delivered it to Bloomville Monday.

“It’s in service now,” Blaser said Monday evening.

The department had tried to get a grant for five years, coming close one year, and had discussed putting a levy on the ballot to try to purchase a new tanker.

Purchasing the used tanker from Indiana meant the department did not need a grant or levy. Blaser said the department purchased the truck, which has 37,000 miles on it, for $49,900 with funds already in the budget.

The cost to repair the frame, paint it to match the department’s other equipment and make minor repairs was about $30,000, he said. Purchasing a new one similar to the one that arrived Monday would come at a cost of about $160,000 to $180,000, the chief said.

“We bought the truck at a tremendously reduced cost,” he said.

The department’s former tanker was a semi with a tank from 1968 that was leaking. Also, it was not baffled, which meant it was unsafe to drive if it was anything but full or empty.

“It’ll be sold,” he said.

Blaser said the department can access rural homes with the new truck easier than with the semi.

The new tanker has side dumps for water that can be controlled from the cab and also has a rear dump. The previous tanker had only a rear dump and had to be operated manually.

“Not everybody could drive the old truck,” he said.