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A Seaside Park Fire Truck is Up For Sale, And It Could Be Going Interesting Places



Seaside Park's 1993 Pierce Lance 1500/500 pumper (fire) truck, currently up for auction. (Photo: Seaside Park Borough)

Seaside Park’s 1993 Pierce Lance 1500/500 pumper (fire) truck, currently up for auction. (Photo: Seaside Park Borough)

What might one do with a fire department’s pumper truck that they bought online? Certainly, Santa Claus might be pleased that his helpers would have one more way to greet all of the kids in the neighborhood this time of year, but the long-term plans for an aging fire engine may be a bit closer to the worldwide Santa analogy that most people would expect.

Seaside Park’s 1993 Pierce Lance 1500/500, which previously served Toms River Fire Company No. 1 before having been acquired by Seaside Park after Superstorm Sandy, went up for auction online Thursday. Seaside Park, like many Shore towns, uses a service called Municibid – essentially, an eBay-type site for surplus government equipment – to sell its well-used pumper truck, which was replaced with a brand new truck earlier this year.



Seaside Park's 1993 Pierce Lance 1500/500 pumper (fire) truck, currently up for auction. (Photo: Seaside Park Borough)

Seaside Park’s 1993 Pierce Lance 1500/500 pumper (fire) truck, currently up for auction. (Photo: Seaside Park Borough)



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The three decade-old truck has a starting bid of $10,000, with the buyer also obligated to pay the auction site’s 7 percent commission. In fairness, the shiny pumper truck has seen its share of upgrades – a pump transfer valve was replaced last year, and its emergency lighting has been partially upgraded to LEDs. It is powered by its original Detroit Diesel V6 engine and Allison transmission, was service regularly and its 1,500 gallon-per-minute pumping system was last tested in 2022. The air conditioning doesn’t work, but hey, it’s a used vehicle after all.

While this might sound like an opportunity for some small town or large business, somewhere, to pick up a fire truck on the cheap, that is an unlikely outcome, Seaside Park fire officials said earlier this year when they were in the process of buying its replacement.

“They can’t use this truck anywhere in the United States,” said Fire Chief Tumolo, since safety regulations and OSHA administrative regulations now require more modern equipment.

That means, barring a collector or some other unique scenario in which it is purchased locally, the truck will likely keep working through its golden years in another corner of the world. Worth just a few thousand dollars on the trade market, the Seaside Park pumper truck may find its way to eastern Europe or Africa, where its life-saving mission will live on in a much different setting. Those two locations are among the most common regions where retired American and western European fire trucks end up.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in Feb. 2022, fire trucks from across America have begun showing up in the conflict zone. Some cities, including Lake Oswego, Oregon, have donated their aging trucks to Ukraine. Muscatine, Iowa’s truck is also on the ground, fighting fires that result from Russian missile strikes or debris from intercepted missiles that can set civilian infrastructure on fire.

Nonprofit entities have also sprung up over the last two years, arranging the transport of surplus American fire trucks and ambulances to Ukraine.

Seaside Park's 1993 Pierce Lance 1500/500 pumper (fire) truck, currently up for auction. (Photo: Seaside Park Borough)

Seaside Park’s 1993 Pierce Lance 1500/500 pumper (fire) truck, currently up for auction. (Photo: Seaside Park Borough)



Seaside Park's 1993 Pierce Lance 1500/500 pumper (fire) truck, currently up for auction. (Photo: Seaside Park Borough)

Seaside Park’s 1993 Pierce Lance 1500/500 pumper (fire) truck, currently up for auction. (Photo: Seaside Park Borough)

Regardless of where the truck ends up, the volunteers who used it to serve their community for the last decade – as well as those on the other side of Barnegat Bay who did the same – will remember the lives saved and properties spared from destruction as a result of the venerable pumper. But even the most hardy equipment – at least locally – has a shelf life.

“At this point, we are now spending more money to fix it than it would take to purchase a new vehicle,” said Tumolo at the time. “Luckily, with the ladder, we haven’t reached that point. It hasn’t started to fail us, but it’s good to keep in mind that ladder trucks are even more expensive.”

Seaside Park's 1993 Pierce Lance 1500/500 pumper (fire) truck, currently up for auction. (Photo: Seaside Park Borough)

Seaside Park’s 1993 Pierce Lance 1500/500 pumper (fire) truck, currently up for auction. (Photo: Seaside Park Borough)

Seaside Park's 1993 Pierce Lance 1500/500 pumper (fire) truck, currently up for auction. (Photo: Seaside Park Borough)

Seaside Park’s 1993 Pierce Lance 1500/500 pumper (fire) truck, currently up for auction. (Photo: Seaside Park Borough)

The company operates one ladder truck, a 1992 Grumman/Telesquirt 1500-500 that was previously in service with the East Dover fire company in Toms River. That truck will need to be replaced at some point in the coming years, however it is still working properly and posing few issues.

The Pierce truck that is up for auction was replaced with a new HME Silverfox pumper truck.




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