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RANGELY I A new tanker/pumper truck for structure fire suppression and rescue is in active service after passing its final inspection at the Rosenbauer manufacturing plant in Sioux Falls, S.D., earlier this month.
The truck’s arrival at the Rangely Rural Fire Protection District (RRFPD) preceded a ceremony on March 20, formalizing Shell Oil Co.’s $150,000 donation to help pay for two new district fire trucks — the tanker/pumper and a ladder truck. The second truck will arrive from the Rosenbauer plant in May.
RRFPD board president Tim Webber, fire chief Andy Shaffer and several firefighters and board members attended the ceremony, along with Shell communications business advisor Carolyn Tucker and community relations representative Nora Alden.
“It takes a team effort to get what we need, and we all have to work together,” Tucker said. “I can say on behalf of our entire company, we’re thrilled to be able to help support district efforts. Your efforts are so critical not only to us, but to our whole community.”
Webber said the Shell donation, along with $100,000 contributions from the Chevron Corp. and the Rio Blanco County commissioners, made paying for the trucks’ approximately $1 million price tag a possibility.
“You can’t begin to understand how much this donation means to the board,” Webber said. “We sat for many, many hours, for many meetings, talking about how we were going to get a million dollars to buy two new fire trucks we so desperately needed. There are other issues we’ll be trying to tackle in days to come, but this puts us over the top.”
The new truck replaced a 1983 Spartan tanker/pumper truck sold to Dinosaur’s Artesia Fire Department.
During the two-year building process, Shaffer traveled to Sioux Falls for prebuild, midpoint, and final inspections.
“We’re very pleased,” Shaffer said. “They did a good job. …We’ve had it out on two runs and it is going to work out great.”
Tucker said that RRFPD’s role as first responders to the Piceance Basin, where Shell has sizable assets, made the company’s decision to donate an easy one.
“We’re all about building the capacity in these communities,” Tucker said. “And this state-of-the-art equipment really, really helps that out. If there ever is an incident, these guys have the equipment to deal with it.”