|New Lanesborough Fire ATV Paid for With Donated Cans|
|By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires Staff |
03:48PM / Tuesday, September 13, 2022
|Select Board Chair John Goerlach and Town Administrator Joshua Lang briefly visited the fire station on Monday to accept the ATV on behalf of the town.|
The new ATV, a Can-Am Outlander Max XT, will replace the department's current one, a civilian model Polaris ATV which has been in service for about two decades.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — To pay for its new emergency response all-terrain vehicle, the Fire Department sorted and recycled about 217,000 cans donated by community members.
The Lanesborough Fireman's Association bought the $15,000 vehicle, a Can-Am Outlander Max XT, entirely with money from its Cans for Lives program, which helps fund the purchase of emergency equipment and vehicles. After sorting, members bring the cans to a facility in Vermont, getting 7 cents for each one.
"We've been able to, essentially, partner with the citizens of the town to help bring this to life for us," said Glen Storie, president of the Lanesborough Fireman's Association. "Their effort to bring the cans here that they collect all year long, and then the effort the membership here puts in to collecting them, sorting them."
The ATV is not the first purchase the volunteer Fire Department has made with funds from Cans for Lives, which has been an ongoing program since the 1990s. Funds from the program have gone toward purchases of other expensive equipment, such as rescue jacks.
"We've actually had to add time to our Wednesday nights so instead of a two-hour meeting, we're a three-hour meeting, because cans take so much time to sort," said Fire Chief Jeffrey DeChaine. "But we're happy to have them because we get this."
The ATV will replace the department's current one, a civilian model Polaris ATV, which has been in service for about two decades. The difference between the new model, tailored for emergency response services, and the old one is night and day, according to Storie.
"That machine wasn't really built for what we do with it, and you can tell. When you have four people, two on there and two on the rescue sled, it really struggles," Storie said, noting the department was getting enough cans to recycle as often as twice a month at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. " ... It's a lot of work, but when you see something like this, or some of the other stuff we have bought, it's a great feeling to give back to the community,"
The vehicle will go into service as soon as it is registered on the town's insurance plan, which DeChaine expects will be later this week. The old ATV, DeChaine said, will still be used by the department for other purposes for as long as it can last.
Select Board Chair John Goerlach and Town Administrator Joshua Lang briefly visited the fire station on Monday to accept the ATV on behalf of the town. Both thanked the department and the fireman's association for its efforts to get the vehicle without affecting the town budget.
"It should be able to do a number of important jobs and things of that sort, so we really appreciate it," Lang said.