Watertown lawmakers will decide whether to bring back fire department rescue truck

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WATERTOWN — A city Fire Department rescue truck could be going back on emergency calls soon.

City Councilor Lisa A. Ruggiero will introduce a resolution on Tuesday night to reestablish the rescue truck with some newly purchased equipment that would be placed on a department utility vehicle, a Ford F-550, at the Emma Flower Taylor Fire Station on South Massey Street.

The proposed return of the rescue truck is prompted by an Arsenal Street crash that trapped a man underneath a vehicle dashboard for 16 minutes in October.

Firefighters needed to wait that long before the Town of Watertown Fire Department brought the Jaws of Life to the scene and got the 18-year-old man out.

In a cost-saving move, the department’s heavy rescue truck was taken off the road in January 2021 after a vote by the previous City Council.

Councilor Ruggiero has spoken to Fire Chief Matthew R. Timerman about the need for the rescue truck.

“I think it will make the best use of personnel,” she said.

According to the councilor, the newly formed rescue truck would go on “critical calls” for heart attack and stroke victims. It also would go out as a second emergency medical vehicle when a fire engine is already responding to a call, she said.

After the rescue truck was mothballed a year ago, two firefighters were reassigned to the ladder truck, resulting in five riding on the aerial truck.

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