Markle dedicates new fire truck

Robert Gonser, president and chaplain of the Markle Volunteer Fire Department, dedicates the department’s newest fire truck during a ceremony on Monday, Dec. 21, at the Markle Fire Station.
Robert Gonser, president and chaplain of the Markle Volunteer Fire Department, dedicates the department’s newest fire truck during a ceremony on Monday, Dec. 21, at the Markle Fire Station. Photo by Cindy Klepper.

A new fire truck has been added to the fleet in Markle, and firefighters and area officials turned out on Monday, Dec. 21, to officially dedicate the truck.

Firefighter Robert Gonser, who serves as both president and chaplain of the Markle Volunteer Fire Department, spoke the words of dedication before those attending were treated to cake and punch in the new truck's honor.

Engine 902 actually arrived in Markle in October and has already been out on several runs. It is the department's main truck and will always be the first truck out of the station, explains Markle Town Marshal John Markley, who also serves as a volunteer firefighter. The department's fleet also includes a second engine, a water tender (tanker), a grass truck and a rescue truck.

The new engine is equipped with a compressed air foam system and, Markley says, is the first fire truck in northern Indiana to be equipped with such a system. The foam is added to water - the truck carries 750 gallons of water in an internal tank - to create a substance that is more effective than water alone in fighting fires, Markley says.

The foam can smother a fire more quickly than water alone, he says, and the structure will suffer less water damage as the result of firefighting efforts.

In the long run, Markley says, the compressed air foam system will be less expensive than ferrying large amounts of water to a fire scene.

The new truck replaces a 1994 International pumper, which is now a part of the Warren Fire Department's fleet.

The truck cost a total of $402,000 and was paid for with the help of a $55,800 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture; a $2,500 gift from the United REMC Roundup Fund; and a $1,000 contribution from MarkleBank.