Old Eagle River fire truck finds a new home | VailDaily.com

Old Eagle River fire truck finds a new home

Dustin Racioppi
Eagle County, CO Colorado
Eagle River Fire Protection District Chief, deputy chiefs and board of directors accept a letter of appreciation Thursday from Northeast Teller District Chief Nick Lauria. The Eagle River district donated an old ladder truck to Lauria’s district last week. Photo contributed by Kevin Rindy.

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Eagle River Fire Protection District Chief Charlie Moore had an emotional attachment to the district’s most recent retiree ” a 1981 ladder truck.

“I was the first to respond to a structure fire in it,” Moore said Thursday at the district’s monthly board of directors meeting. “It was a chimney fire in Eagle-Vail.”

It’s time for the truck to make memories somewhere else now. The district donated the old ladder truck last week to Woodland Park’s Northeast Teller County Fire Protection District, and Thursday the local district was given a letter of appreciation from Teller County’s chief Nick Lauria.

“I know that when we left there were a lot of sad faces,” said Lauria, who picked up the truck last week and drove it five hours to Woodland Park. “But there were a lot of happy faces when we got there. What a great addition to our fleet.”

It wasn’t just a great addition, it was a necessary addition, Lauria said.

The Eagle River district retired the truck in July after putting a new one into service, then put out a statewide inquiry for departments that were in need of an upgrade.

Lauria said when he became the district’s chief last year, his first order of business was to scrap its ladder truck, which he said was “pretty old and actually unsafe to use.”

“So when the ladder truck went away it left a big hole to take care of my district,” he added.

It was apparent his district had the greatest need, and rather than send Eagle River’s truck to a much less useful fate like a scrap yard or auctioning it to the highest bidder, Moore, the board and the Beaver Creek Metropolitan District voted to donate the truck ” a move Lauria said is pretty uncommon.

“Right now, that thing as it sits is probably worth $60,000, but if I bought that brand new, that’s an $850,000 truck, an almost $1 million rig,” he said. “I’ve never heard of a fire district donating a platform fire truck. It’s awesome. What a great thing for our taxpayers.”

Unheard of, maybe, but to board chairman Ed O’Brien, it shouldn’t be.

“This was an idea of your firefighters. This is what ought to happen in our stations and I’m thrilled about it,” he said. “Our board and the Beaver Creek board could not have been more happy to see this truck in the hands of a great and deserving company that is going to take care of it.”

Dustin Racioppi can be reached at (970)748-2936 or dracioppi@vaildaily.com.

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