The North Haven Fire Department is “actively negotiating” with insurance companies over a quote it received to repair damages to a fire engine. According to fire chief Paul Januszewski, the damage is “exceeding $50,000.”
On Sunday, June 9, at approximately 2:30 a.m., a North Haven fire engine was struck on its rear edge by an oncoming vehicle on I-91 near exit 10. The engine was taken out of service indefinitely.
At a special meeting of the fire commission held on June 18, Januszewski said the engine was serving as a “blocking apparatus” when it was hit.
“Had this apparatus not been there, it’s very possible that we would have had firefighters struck by a car,” the chief said.
Januszewski said the fire department is working with insurance adjusters in order to see what truck damage would be covered.
“It’s a lot like a regular car accident,” he said, “except in this case, time is of the essence.”
Having had to take the engine out of commission, the department was left with only two. One of those vehicles has what Januszewski described as “ongoing maintenance issues” and the other is 32 years old.
National Fire Protection Association regulations state that engines should be decommissioned after 25 years.
The department may pursue legal action against the manufacturer of the engine experiencing maintenance issues.
“We’re researching litigation because of the number of repairs we’ve had to make to the engine,” Januszewski said. “Our lawyers are sending correspondence to the manufacturer.”