SHIRLEY -- When a shiny, new fire truck pulled up in front of the Town Offices last week, there was no fire, no emergency.
A welcoming committee consisting of the Board of Selectmen and the town administrator came out to greet Fire Chief Dennis Levesque and to get an up-close view of the latest addition to his department's fleet of vehicles: a towering, 107-foot ladder truck, resplendently red and as big as a small house.
Town Meeting approved purchasing the truck last fall and voters at a subsequent special town election passed a Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion to cover the cost, which with loan interest added to the $800,000 price tag totals about $1 million, paid out over time.
Given that the vintage truck it replaced was 30 years old, refurbished once and no longer reliable, most residents agreed it was time to retire the old truck and that the expenditure for a new one was worth it, with a useful lifespan of at least 15 to 20 years.
The public unveiling of the truck, which arrived last week, wasn't its maiden voyage, but close.
Levesque said the new truck, which was delivered last week, hasn't yet been out on a call, with preparatory details pending before it goes into service.
The to-do list includes transferring radios, hand tools and other equipment, such as the Jaws of Life rescue tool, from the old truck to the new one, which is 32-feet longer than its predecessor.