By Jeff Gallatin
City firefighters are preparing their new $425,000 fire engine to be ready for when situations get hot on the job.
“It should be ready to go out on service within the next week or two,” Fire Chief Chris Lyons said Thursday. “Right now, we’re training all the personnel on it and also making sure everything is set up properly on it for when we go out.”
The new engine comes from the E-One company, and actually was assembled in two separate areas, Lyons said. Much of it came from Ocala, Fla., but some of the frame was put together in Hamburg, N.Y. ,the chief said.
“The part in New York was treated and put together specifically to be able to deal with the salt and corrosion that we deal with in this part of the country,” he said. “That will better enable it to last longer, because we always try to get the best in terms of years and usage out of all our vehicles.”
An average lifespan for a firetruck is 15 years. The one Bay’s new truck is replacing on the line is a 1995 Sutphin engine.
“We were able to get a lot of good use out of that one, but it’s time to replace it,” Lyons said.
He said the new engine has a much larger storage capacity for water, going from 500 gallons in the old truck to 750 in the new one.
“That can make a major difference at a fire,” he said. “We can put out a lot of water, and if we’re using our tanks while we’re hooking up to a hydrant, that extra water could be the difference in knocking down or stopping a fire or even helping us battle a fire while we effect a rescue of someone. That extra water literally could be a lifesaver in some situations.”
In addition, there is a 30-gallon storage area for foam or soap, which can be used in conjunction with the water to battle a fire, Lyons said.
“Using the soap can help extend the water and allow us to fight a fire longer, and it also helps clean away some elements and stop a fire in some instances.”
He said the new fire engine also has an increased light capacity, going from incandescent lights to new LEDs.
“The new ones are pretty bright and also will last a lot longer,” he said. “That will aid us in any situation where we need strong illumination and will also save us some money because we won’t have to be changing lights as often.”
Another new addition is a rumbler siren, which will enable the engine to make an even louder wail when it’s traveling down the street in a hurry.
“With this feature, the siren is pretty hard to miss,” Lyons said. “Believe it or not, there are some people who might have been wearing headsets or something in their vehicle or just going down the street and would tell firefighters, ‘I didn’t hear you.’ Well, they should be able to hear the new one pretty easily.”
Lyons said he enjoys getting the new equipment and technology, but said he’s glad for one major reason.
“We all enjoy getting something new like this, but we do remember that having the new equipment just enhances our ability to fight a fire and respond to hazardous situations when needed,” he said.