Several fire departments across the country are adding new vehicles to their fleets. Here is a roundup of some recent vehicle purchase announcements.
Missouri Fire Department Places Fireboat into Service on Lake of the Ozarks
The Osage Beach, Missouri, Fire Protection District added a 31-foot fireboat to its fleet this week. The boat, manufactured by Lake Assault Boats, will respond on the busiest portions of the 54,000-acre lake, according to a press release.
“We love the new Lake Assault Boats vessel. The advanced technologies it features makes it easy to operate and improves our on-the-water performance,” said Fire Chief Paul Berardi. “After having it on duty for the past few months, we wouldn’t buy another fire boat without its state-of-the-art designs.”
The department tested a similar watercraft owned by a nearby fire department, determining it would be a good fit.
Engineered on the shores of Lake Superior, the modified V-hull craft is 31-feet long and has a 10-foot, 6-inch beam. The boat’s draft is less than 18-inches with motors trimmed up and 24-inches when trimmed down. The craft includes a dive door on the port side as well as a fold down stair on the bow to aid in boarding and dis-embarking. Power is supplied by twin 300 hp four-stroke Mercury outboards that are controlled through the Skyhook Digital Anchor and Joystick Piloting systems.
The firefighting system includes a Darley PSDE 1,500 GPM fire pump that is driven by a dedicated 6.0L V-8 gas engine. There is an electronically controlled TFT Monsoon 1500 GPM rooftop monitor that offers an unobstructed range of at least 270 degrees and has a vertical coverage of 60 degrees above and five degrees below horizontal. A 5-inch gated discharge on the forward deck supplies water to ground base apparatus.
The vessel features a full width and fully enclosed pilothouse with an interior clearance height of 76-inches and a rooftop air conditioning and heating system. There is bench seating with storage underneath along the aft wall. The dash console provides ample room for fire pump controls and monitors, and includes two Garmin touchscreens that operate GPS, structure scan sonar, Chart Plotting, and forward-looking infrared (FLIR), according to Lake Assault Boats.
"The craft is easy to maneuver in tight spaces, and holds its position while the fire pump is operating,” added Deputy Chief Lucas. “Plus, the learning curve for operators is fast, and that’s extremely important.”
Iowa Fire Department's New Off-Road Vehicle to Assist with Grass Fires, Rural Area Response
The Ainsworth, Iowa, Volunteer Fire Department has added an off-road vehicle to its fleet. The Polaris Ranger UTV, referred to by the department as the "AFD Ranger 18," is equipped with a skid unit built by members of the fire department that will be used for grass fires. The vehicle will also be used for rescue efforts in rural areas, according to a post on the department's Facebook page. Additionally, the vehicle is also equipped with a water tank and pump, according to the Southeast Iowa Union.
The vehicle will be able to navigate in areas on-road vehicles are unable to, especially in places like large fields that have soft spots in rainy months, the fire chief told the Union. The vehicle was community-funded by the Washington County Riverboat Foundation grant, a donation made in memory of a local pillar in the community named Mike Wood, a Walmart Foundation grant, and fireworks sales.
CAL FIRE San Diego's New Helicopter to Bolster Wildfire Suppression Response
The CAL FIRE San Diego Unit has an exclusive use Type 1 helicopter available for response in the region. It will operate out of the Ramona Airport and will be managed by the CAL FIRE San Diego Unit's aviation personnel. The aircraft can be utilized throughout San Diego County for wildfire suppression.
The airframe is an EHI-SIKORSKY helicopter model CH-54A with the FAA Tail Number of N795HT. The call sign for the aircraft will be "Nine-Five Hotel Tango," according to a press release. The aircraft has a tank capacity of 2,650 gallons.
One of Mississippi's Oldest Fire Departments Adds New Pumpers
The Vicksburg, Mississippi, Fire Department rolled out two new pumpers earlier this month. Fire Chief Craig Danczyk unveiled the new trucks on the department's Facebook page.
"The Vicksburg FIre Department is one of the oldest departments in the state, dating back to April 14, 1837. Those times have changed, but the mission of service has not changed," Danczyk said at a press conference.
The department added Engine 7 and Engine 8 to its fleet. The E-1 Typhoon pumpers were ordered by the department in 2021 from Sunbelt Fire Apparatus in Fairhope, Alabama, according to The Vicksburg Post. The vehicles were delivered in July.
The trucks replace two older pumpers in the fleet, one from 1993 and one from 2000. The older of the two was damaged during a 2021 ice storm and will be retired. The truck from 2000 will be used as a reserve truck, according to The Post. The new engines will be stationed at two different stations.
The diesel-powered pumpers have 1,500-gallon-per-minute pumps, with 1,000-gallon water tanks and 400 ft of hose in a bumper storage box. The trucks have 65-gallon diesel tanks and include storage room for 10 spare air bottles.