Don't know if I can agree with him driving it on routine trips around town. Not only because of the extra gas consumption and CO2, but it also takes up a lot more room on the road, and it's a lot slower on acceleration wasting everyone's time behind him. When someone has a purpose for having a huge truck on the road you tolerate it, but if I found out I was stuck behind a slow firetruck because some guy wanted to tickle his own fancy I'd be less tolerant.
Yea, practicality isn't the end all of life, but don't be a dick.
Edit: Just wanted to add, it also puts a lot more wear on the roads especially during spring when the ground frost is melting. You might be within the law to drive it around, but your County Road Commission will not be pleased.
Many days I can't find a good reason to appreciate living in the US. I'm glad that there are places to live where a guy can buy an old fire truck if it tickles his fancy. I'm also glad that there are ticky-tacky neighborhoods with HOA's in towns with strict zoning, so you and I won't have to be neighbors.
I also can't think of a reason why I should fear for my children's safety if my neighbor had one of these in his driveway.
I can't imagine he'll end up driving it enough for that to be a problem. In 2 or 3 years (more like 6 months) he'll get tired of moving it around and paying for fuel. In the end the worst case scenario will end up being caught behind the guy as he heads out to some small town's Christmas parade so their real engines aren't being wasted driving Santa down Main St.
For $1,500 he got a deal. It is worth at least that much in scrap.
It also would have far worse visibility than a Ford Explorer.
That said, I don't think it is an argument for whether he should be "allowed" to have the truck or not. If there was evidence that people with large truck always hurt kids, perhaps; but I don't think that evidence exists.
As for visibility, I think that probably cancels out with a responsible driver. The fact that it's harder to drive will engender additional caution, for probably no major net change in danger, assuming he can avoid getting so used to the thing that he gets sloppy.
I'll also bet that his fire truck can stop better than you think, especially if he has left the ~500 gallon water tank empty.
On the other hand a new tender (or water pumper) CAN stop on a dime, as its brakes are based on it carrying three to four thousand gallons of water, so when it is empty...
Does anybody really think it's a rational argument to make, that this guy _shouldn't_ buy and drive his own fire truck because it's a risk to "the children"?
Like an air horn. ;)
That's why public safety has to be a balance between rights and responsibilities that may not always seem "fair" to some. I can not say what my kids would do if I pulled into that cul-de-sac and they hopped out of the car and saw a firetruck sitting right there. I know I would not want any old belligerent "its-my-right-of-way" guy driving that thing but I doubt there will be some sort of epidemic of firetruck driving in my area any time soon.
(As a farmer I think I come to this with a different perspective than most. I work with heavy equipment all the time in a yard where my kids run around, but in a remote yard with just your kids it is pretty easy to do a head-count before you move something.)