Surf 79, a 1998 Chevy 1500 used by lifeguards in Old Orchard Beac,h is seen towing a 2015 Sea-Doo GTI SE 130. SUBMITTED PHOTO/Courtesy of Old Orchard Beach FIre Department website.

 

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — The Old Orchard Beach Fire Department was given the green light to purchase a new-to-them lifeguard truck.

The Town Council on Tuesday night authorized the fire chief to spend up to $26,500 on a crew cab pick-up truck to replace Surf 79, the current lifeguard truck which is a 1988 Chevy 1500.

The fire department intends to purchase a used truck, and transfer some of the equipment from the old truck. The department will purchase new lighting, a radio and a liner bed.

The total cost of the truck and related equipment can not exceed $30,000.

Councilor Kenneth Blow said the purchase of the truck was heavily discussed during the town budget process.

Fire Chief Ed Dube said the new truck will be used year-round and will be utilized more than the current life guard truck.

“That (current lifeguard) truck is not getting used the way it should be,” he said. Dube said the new truck would be used by firefighters and fire police in storm emergencies to haul barricades and signs.

In Old Orchard Beach, the lifeguards work under the fire department.

After the summer and lifeguard season is over, the fire department is responsible for attending to beach emergencies, Dube said.

“We’ve got ropes and surfboards and life jackets and everything we need in that truck,” he said.

Old Orchard Beach’s population of about 9,000 swells to about 75,000 in the summer, according to data from the town. Vacationers flock to the seaside town in the summer to enjoy the seven-mile stretch of beach, which was named one of the 10 best family beaches earlier this year by the Family Vacation Critic website, a subsidiary of TripAdvisor.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected].

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