Morristown fire bureau gets a new ride

Morristown's Bravest with their new engine, Oct. 25, 2021. Photo by Berit Ollestad


By Berit Ollestad


St. Nick arrived early this year for the Morristown Fire Bureau.

Citing the importance of keeping the fleet up to date, the mayor and town council members presented Fire Chief Robert Flanagan and his department with a 2021 Pierce Saber pumper.

Mayor Tim Dougherty checks out the new fire truck, as Acting Deputy Chief Nick Prizzi gives pointers, Oct. 25, 2021. Photo by Berit Ollestad

This six-cylinder diesel truck is equipped with a 525-gallon water tank.

Mayor Tim Dougherty acknowledged the town will need to start budgeting for another truck down the line.

“Morristown continues to grow rapidly, as proven by last year’s census. We need to be prepared for whatever emergencies come our way. The best way to do that is to ensure our public safety and first responders have the equipment they need,” Dougherty said.

This is the first engine the town has purchased in 15 years. The new Pierce Saber comes with all the bells and whistles one would expect with a price tag of $589,805.

Manufactured in Florida and delivered recently, this engine was built to Morristown’s specifications: The town has many narrow and irregular type streets that aren’t easily maneuvered with a standard sized truck.

Acting Deputy Chief Nick Prizzi shows off Morristown’s new fire truck. Video by Berit Ollestad for, Oct. 25, 2021:

“Many hours went into finding the best apparatus for this town that will provide service in the utmost safe way, and this is what we came up with,” said Flanagan.

The chief added, “Pierce exceeds the EPA requirement for burning diesel. So, this is the cleanest fire engine on the market today.”

Town Administrator Jillian Barrick checks out new fire truck, Oct. 25, 2021. Photo by Berit Ollestad

To commemorate one of Morristown’s earliest and still-operational fire houses, the engine will be named after the First Ward Hose Co. at 155 Morris St. This fire house proved essential in keeping first responders healthy during the height of the pandemic.

For approximately six months when COVID-19 was raging, the bureau split the tour up and sent half its firefighters to the fire house on Morris Street, while the other half remained at the main fire house on 161 Speedwell Ave.

This allowed the bureau to significantly reduce the exposure between the two groups and keep most of the department healthy.

After a few last-minute details, the new engine will be fully operational and ready for action within the next two weeks.

Mayor Tim Dougherty and Fire Chief Robert Flanagan with new truck, Oct. 25, 2021. Photo by Berit Ollestad

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  1. Nice new fire truck, did Chief Flannagan donate his traditional $2600 to the Mayor’s campaign before or after?