SHOHOLA TWP. - Local dignitaries, regional firefighters, and area citizens gathered together on Saturday to help dedicate the Shohola Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department’s latest addition to its array of apparatus, a 650 gallon capacity, 5-ton truck, affectionately dubbed “The Beast” but known officially as 41-Brush.
   Saturday August 23rd’s ceremony was nearly a year in the making. The Beast arrived in Pike County last October. When it showed up at the Bureau of Forestry’s Owego Station it was clad in a military green-brown-tan-and-black woodland camouflage paint job. A former US Army 6x6 transport truck, it was procured by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) though a federal excess program that supplies vehicles to rural emergency departments for the intent of wildland firefighting. Through similar programs, DCNR also was able to furnish the water tank and many of the tools needed as well.
    Spearheading the project was Shohola Fire & Rescue Captain Daniel Buttero. He and his fellow firefighters secured donations of paint from Jevic Paints in Middletown NY; repainting by Anthony Farula and his team at Milford Auto Body in Shohola; graphics by Howard Vobis, Terri Williams, and Gail Bowdoin at Sign Here Graphics in Port Jervis; and plumbing by Industrial Hose Supply in Shohola.
     While The Beast was ready to roll for the spring brushfire season, and did see some action as well, giving it an official introduction to the community was put off until the summer when a proper “wet down” could comfortably take place.
    Prior to engine units from the surrounding area arriving at the station to baptize The Beast with a good spraying, dignitaries and VIPs from the commonwealth and local governments were on hand to say a few words about the project, volunteer emergency responders, and members of the military (to which the truck is dedicated.)
    Shohola Fire Chief Clint Malzahn noted how many people were involved in getting the truck into service and felt that it was, “…the community’s truck.”
    DCNR Forest Fire Specialist Supervisor for Pike County, Bill Delling commented that as far as military surplus trucks go, this one was relatively new—about 20 years old, and was in excellent condition so he hopes it will serve Shohola and Pike County for many years.
    Township Board of Supervisors Chairmen George Fluhr gave his gratitude to those who serve both the country and community and felt very proud of what was accomplished to get the truck into service.
     Finally State Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) called the work inspiring and thanked those who are dedicated to protecting Shohola and Pike County. She also pointed out that on a previous visit to the township she had seen the Fire and Rescue station lacked a Pennsylvania state flag and concluded her remarks by presenting one to Chief Malzahn for the department.
    The daylong event also featured a BBQ and Corn Roast as well as entertainment from the band Side F/X, appearances by Smokey Bear, and a touchdown by a Medevac helicopter.