Article published Jan 18, 2006 Preston firetruck topples off road By GREG SMITH Norwich Bulletin PRESTON — Two firefighters sustained minor injuries when a firetruck overturned while investigating reports of smoke along a narrow Preston road Tuesday. The 15-year-old pumper engine, with an estimated value of about $300,000, crashed onto its side off an embankment while rounding a narrow S-curve on Miller Road. The truck is Preston City Fire Department’s most versatile vehicle, carrying hoses, ladders and a 1,250-gallon water tank. “My first thought was for who was in the vehicle and if they were all right,” said Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Birt, who was at work when the accident occurred shortly after noon. The firefighters were taken by Poquetanuck Ambulance for treatment and evaluation at The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich. The driver reportedly complained of back and neck pain. The names of the firefighters were not immediately available Tuesday. Firefighters later gathered to watch as tow truck operators from Courville’s Garage of Montville, along with a Preston Public Works loader, hauled the truck upright, then dragged it back onto the roadway. Preston First Selectman Robert Congdon said a comparable truck is being assembled for the Poquetanuck Fire Department at a cost of about $330,000. Preston City Fire Chief Ken Hirt said the truck was to be brought back to the station and later taken for an in-depth inspection of damage. The truck, without use of lights or sirens and at low speed, was investigating reports of smoke in the area, likely the result of a controlled burn on Prodell Road, Deputy Chief Tom Guiher said. With the well-used engine out of operation, the department is expected to rely more heavily on mutual aid departments in the event of a structure fire. “All of the neighboring departments, we work together,” Hirt said.