The Pantex Fire Department is adding to its growing fleet with three new unique trucks being brought into the fold.
The new trucks are each designed for different response capabilities. They provide Pantex firefighters with reliable vehicles to put out fires, make rescues, mitigate hazardous material releases, and save lives on plant site while helping its mutual aid partners.
First, a traditional structure fire engine, is replacing one that’s more than 25 years old. It is a multipurpose vehicle with firefighting and rescue capabilities related to fires and motor vehicle accidents.
The second unit eliminates a truck almost 30 years old and will be used for heavy rescue and major motor vehicle accidents, along with rescues with extreme angle elevations, towers, trench rescues, and a building collapse. It will be used for highway rescue operations on major roads as well as the county roads in Carson, Potter, and Armstrong Counties.
Finally, the third is a hazardous materials unit, designed to replace a heavy rescue unit from 1986, which was re-purposed in 2003 for hazardous material. This unit will respond to hazmat releases and spills as its primary function to define chemicals including the stop, release, and isolation of the substance. It will have the capability to carry level A and B hazmat suits and equipment for decontamination of firefighters and patients.
According to Daniel Gleaves, Pantex emergency services senior director, “The addition of these new fire apparatus significantly enhances responder safety and response capability for both the site and the surround community, which will in return prevent injuries to our firefighters and potentially save lives both on and off site.”
The ergonomic designs, and new unit’s safety features inside the passenger compartment area, chevron reflectors, and LED lights will help keep Pantex firefighters safer when they are responding to emergencies in these new vehicles, too.
“These trucks allow us to provide modern vehicles that incorporate the best features for providing service to the community and safety for our personnel. The design of the trucks allows us to provide better, more efficient service to the plant and our mutual aid partners,” added Pantex Fire Chief Mike Brock.
The Pantex Plant, located northeast of Amarillo, Texas, is the nation’s primary facility for the final assembly, dismantlement, and maintenance of nuclear weapons. Pantex is one of six production facilities in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Nuclear Security Enterprise. Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC manages and operates the facility along with the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee under a single contract from the U.S. Department of Energy/NNSA.