With a federal grant, Sipesville firefighters will be able to replace two vehicles with a newer, more versatile model.

“We will be able to better serve the public with this apparatus,” fire Chief Scott Kovach said Wednesday.

Larger and more expensive equipment can remain at the station, saving them from wear-and-tear while making them available for other incidents.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the fire company has secured the grant.

A spokesman for U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha’s office said the Johnstown Democrat has written about a dozen letters of support for 12th Congressional District fire companies seeking the Assistance to Firefighters grants.

Sipesville was the only Somerset County fire company to win the grant in this round of funding.

Although the truck likely will cost more than the $166,250 awarded to the department, Kovach said the purchase would not be possible without the funding through the Department of Homeland Security. The company just finished building a new station and fire hall and is making payments on another truck.

“This project would not have been feasible without the grant,” he said.

The new, four-door cab will be able to pump water, carry the station’s rescue equipment and haul firefighters. The vehicle will replace two others: A mini-pumper and a van that transported fire crews.

Deputy Chief Jim Shroyer said the truck will be ideal for responding to vehicle accidents in winter weather.

“The biggest thing is, we don’t have a first-out truck with four-wheel-drive capability,” he said. “It’s a great update for us.”

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