ST. JOHNSVILLE — The St. Johnsville Volunteer Fire Department recently replaced its aging 1994 Spartan GT-One pumper, which the department bought new in 1994, with a 2015 HME Spectr Midmount pumper, purchased from Firehouse Apparatus in Locke at a cost of $386,000.00.

The new pumper is now designated Engine 1.

According to Assistant Fire Chief Alex Countryman, the new features of the apparatus include hydraulic ladder accessibility, a 1,500 gallon per minute pump capacity, 970 gallons of water on-board storage and 30 gallons of Class A foam concentrate, a better lighting package for night work and a bigger motor for negotiating the steep hills in the department’s service area.

"The addition of this new apparatus to our fleet will allow us to respond to emergencies more efficiently and safely than we have been able to in the past, with the older, outdated equipment," Countryman said in a news release.

The new, six-seat, Engine 1 will be the department’s primary response apparatus and will carry equipment needed to fight various types of fires, perform vehicle extraction and other emergency services required by communities in their service area, according to the release.

Currently, the department serves the village of St. Johnsville and is contracted to serve the town of St. Johnsville, all of the town of Danube and parts of the towns of Manheim, Minden and Palatine.

The all-volunteer department has 20 active members who respond to emergencies. Some are trained to carry air packs, some are licensed to drive the trucks while others are trained in exterior firefighting. To qualify as a volunteer firefighter in New York state, one must pass a firefighter level one course, which consists of 136 hours of classroom experience, hands-on training and burn training followed by periodic continuing education training.

Countryman expressed his gratitude to the community.

"I’d like to thank the mayor and the village board for their cooperation during the long process that led up to the acquisition of this apparatus, as well as to men and women of the St. Johnsville Fire Department for their continued dedication and hard work in the protection of St. Johnsville and the surrounding communities," he said in the release. "Most of all, I’d like to give a big thank you to the people of St. Johnsville, and our neighboring communities, for their continued support of our department and our members."

The department offers a Junior firefighter program for men and women 16 to 18 years of age.

Anyone of any age who is interested in assisting or joining the fire department is welcome to visit the department, located on Main Street, Monday evenings at 7 p.m., when weekly training is held.