AFD tanker truck damaged during pool-filling episode

By Dick Sanford
An Arkville Fire Department tanker truck was seriously damaged on Sunday evening, July 11 while it was being used by one of the department’s members to fill his swimming pool in Arkville.

Rob Sweeney, the department’s chief, declined to identify the fireman who was using the truck at the time of the accident, citing possible disciplinary action by the fire district and the fact that the man had not been officially notified of that pending action.

Damage to the three-year-old tanker, which is covered by insurance, is estimated in the neighborhood of $30,000. The vehicle is being repaired at Sanford Body Shop in Arkville and is expected to return to service.

“We’re still trying to figure out what happened,” Chief Sweeney told the News Tuesday. “There are several stories circulating about the details of the accident,” he went on to say. Citing the possible disciplinary action, Chief Sweeney declined to provide further details.

“The use of fire trucks to fill swimming pools has declined in recent years,” Sweeney said. “We mostly stopped doing it when we had the old tanker because the tank was so rusty that the water would be discolored. Today, with the new tanker, we aren’t allowed to fill it from hydrants so it becomes a two-truck operation to fill it,” he said.