The Big Bear, California, Fire Department has ordered three custom Pierce Manufacturing fire apparatus for its fleet, including two Pierce Arrow XT 4x4 pumpers and an Ascendant 100’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Tower with a mid-mount configuration. The order is part of a fleet upgrade and replacement initiative for the Big Bear Fire Department, and was coordinated through an authorized Pierce dealer, South Coast Fire Equipment, Inc.
“Due to economic challenges and a consolidation nearly 15 years ago, fire apparatus replacements were on hold, making upgrade and replacement initiatives a major priority in recent years,” said Big Bear Fire Department Capt. Norman Dykesten. “As we began the bid process, we appreciated South Coast Fire Equipment’s responsiveness and efforts to introduce configurations we didn’t know existed. The value and quality construction we received from Pierce within our available resources were immense, and we are confident the new fire apparatus will be exactly what we need to continue serving our community.”
What's Included in the Fire Apparatus
Pierce Arrow XT 4x4 Pumpers
- Arrow XT chassis
- 500-gallon water tank • 1,500 gpm pump
- Cummins X12 engine
- Command Zone™ Multiplex Electronics
Ascendant 100’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Tower
- Arrow XT chassis
- Mid-mount configuration
- 300-gallon water tank
- 2,000 gpm pump
- Cummins X15 605 hp engine
- Integrated ground pads
- 20’ setback capacity
- 20-degree below grade operation
- TAK-4 T-3™ Independent Suspension
The Big Bear Fire Department operates out of four fire stations with 58 personnel, and responds to more than 4,500 calls per year. The service area includes a mix of rural, mountainous, and urban neighborhoods. The jurisdiction includes two resorts offering skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and mountain bike trails and golfing in the spring, summer, and fall seasons. The community has 17,800 full time residents, but tourist activity can elevate that number to an upwards of 250,000 people on any given day, according to a press release from Pierce.
Dykesten explained that while San Bernardino County Fire can provide mutual aid when needed, one of the biggest challenges the department faces is that significant additional resources are farther away. He said the next closest community is 25 miles away, making the need for accessibility to the critical equipment, "particularly important for our crew.”
The fire apparatus order is the first the Big Bear Fire Department has placed with South Coast Fire Equipment. Fleet upgrades also include the addition of a Type 3 Model 34 Wildland vehicle from Boise Mobile Equipment.