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Coaldale dedicating new firetruck at festival today

Published September 08. 2018 07:20AM

Coaldale Fire Co. will officially dedicate its newest fire truck as part of the Coal Crackin’ Rock the Block festival this weekend.

The festival runs through Sunday.

Today, the department will hold a parade and housing ceremony, which will include trucks from several area departments.

Judging begins at 3:30 p.m. The parade kicks off at 5 p.m., with the housing ceremony to follow at 6 p.m.

During the ceremony, they will dedicate their 2002 Spartan Aerialscope, which was purchased last year for $150,000.

“The truck it replaced was a 1980 tower. It’s fully enclosed, we can put six firefighters in there fully belted in, and it’s much safer,” said Steven Polischak, Coaldale Fire Department Chief.

The department decided to hold off dedicating the truck until the community event.

“We hope to draw an even bigger crowd than last year being the second annual rock the block,” Polischak said.

An officer from the department, which previously owned the ladder truck, will be on hand to celebrate the housing. Deputy Chief Michael Vaughn of South Hill Volunteer Fire Department in Virginia and Polischak developed a friendship during the process of transferring the fire truck. The two volunteers talk regularly not just about firefighting, but life in general.

“It truly speaks to the brotherhood that the fire service has, that on the purchase of a vehicle, you still talk to one of the gentlemen,” Polischak said.

The truck was purchased with a loan from the state Fire Commissioner’s volunteer assistance loan program. St. Luke’s donated money to the department this year to help with the purchase, and Polischak said he hopes that will continue in years to come. Coaldale Borough Council also authorized a 0.5-mill tax to help the fire department with its expenses, which are covered largely through fundraising.

The department will also be selling food at this weekend’s event. The menu includes bleenies, boneless wings, funnel cakes, deep fried Oreos, soft pretzels and nachos.

They will be operating the beer garden and drawing a cash raffle with prizes up to $200 Sunday night.

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