The Washington C.H. Fire Department will soon be adding a new, multi-functional fire truck to its fleet.
After having to take “Fire Truck 141” out of service due to a damaged frame, the city took steps to have it replaced. “After finding significant issues with the frame of 141, we had an independent mechanic verify it,” said Washington C.H. City Manager Joe Denen. “Doing nothing was not a viable option.”
A crack was found on the frame of the truck that had been utilized since 1999 – facilitating the decision to take it out of service.
From there, three demo fire trucks from three different companies were examined and one was identified as the best fit, said Tom Youtz, the chief of the Washington Fire Department. “We believe we found a truck that will work very well for us.”
This truck – a 2014 Rosenbauer – was purchased from All-American Fire Equipment, a local company the Washington Fire Department has had a close relationship with for a number of years. According to Scott Monroe, of All-American Fire Equipment and also a part-time firefighter, there is a compartment at the front of the truck that will house two 100-foot hydraulic reels, a rescue pump, rescue tools, and up to 150 feet of pre-connected hand-line hose.
This truck carries 1,000 gallons of water and features a 1,500-gallon-a-minute pump. The truck has a better turning ratio than “141” and has a shorter wheel base. “The frames are also galvanized, which eliminates some of the trouble we had with 141,” said Youtz.
Five “pre-connects” are also a valued feature of the new truck. “For example, if we’re out on a car fire and we get dispatched to another call, we’ll be able to drop that line and pick it up at another time because we have other pre-connected hand-lines on the truck,” said Youtz. “It allows you to be more pre-connected to do what you need to do.”
Once the ideal truck was identified, the city entered into a contract with All-American Fire Equipment for the purchase of the truck, as well as the associated equipment and apparatus. In total, the cost to the city is $487,000.
“An investment in the fire department is an investment into our community,” Denen said. “Building public services like fire are important to the long-term health of the community. Ultimately, we want to serve the community in all areas at the level they deserve.”
City council recently approved a resolution authorizing the purchase.
The Rosenbauer vehicle will add to a fleet that consists of a tower truck, a pumper tanker, and a pickup truck/grass unit. It should be ready to hit the streets in approximately a month, according to city officials.