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Check Out Our New Apparatus

Check Out Our New Apparatus

Our organization understands that as our community grows so must our tools, resources, and service levels. We have an established strategic plan that helps us navigate what that looks like long term, and part of that strategic plan includes a schedule for large-scale investments, such as the purchase of new apparatus. We are excited to announce the receipt of several new fire engines this year. These engines replace aging rigs that have run their course and will now become back-up units or be surplussed accordingly. This comes on the heels of receiving a new aid unit as well.

The newest aid unit called Station 17 home and is currently in service, serving the Fairwood community. The latest fire engine we’ve received resides at Station 13 and will serve the Benson Hill area. It is expected to go into service in late September/early October, depending on finishing parts and availability. We have two more engines coming this year. Those rigs will be housed at Station 14 and Station 17.

To give you an idea of the strategic process, the planning for these rigs has been nearly two years in the making. From the time of order, to the time of initial receipt from the manufacturer, it has been about 20 months total and will be about two years total once the rigs are fully equipped and in service to the community. The production time of emergency apparatus is why having a strategic plan that includes a detailed vehicle replacement schedule is so important to ensure the best possible service to the community.

Additionally, by strategically planning the purchase of new apparatus – both internally and externally with other agencies looking to standardize on emergency vehicles regionally – we can use our combined purchasing power to reduce costs, while creating consistency between departments that makes mutual aid more seamless for our community members in their greatest time of need. Several of our agency partners across Zone 3 take part in the discounts and zone-wide consistency that comes from combining logistics practices for the betterment of all our communities.

These new rigs come with some amazing features. There have been several efficiency upgrades, lighting upgrades, mechanical upgrades, communication/technology upgrades, and most importantly – safety upgrades. The engines have an improved suspension system that not only allows for greater maneuverability and a smoother ride, but also allows for conveniences like lowering the back chassis for easier access to tools and equipment. Wireless technology allows our crews to communicate through new headsets, whether they’re in or outside the vehicle, making the logistics of safely moving the rig into position and/or coordinating efforts a breeze. Front and side impact airbags and a larger, uninterrupted windshield give our firefighters better visibility for hazards and keeps them safer while on the road. A smaller, retractable hose system makes putting out small fires faster, by not requiring firefighters to pull a line of hose from the rear of the engine. Additional details include upgraded LED lighting throughout, for higher visibility inside the rig and outside at a scene, and a rear-facing SCBA seat, with an adjacent first-due compartment, allows the first-due firefighter greater efficiency to hit the ground running when every second counts during an emergency.

These rigs are filled with thoughtful upgrades that improve the efficiency and safety of our firefighters, and ultimately provides an ever greater level of service to the community. Stay tuned for a virtual vehicle tour in the near future!