The big day arrived in Barriere this weekend with the arrival of the town’s brand new fire engine.
Thanks to Barriere Fire Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Derek Ive the truck arrived in mint condition after a 2100 km drive from Garry Fire Trucks in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“It was a long drive for sure,” said Ive, “I had all kinds of weather on the way; strong winds, rain, ice rain, snow, slush, and then sunshine on the last day.”
Barriere Fire Chief Ashley Wohlgemuth says the whole department “is super excited” to have the new engine in their firehall. Especially so when they look at all the bells and whistles that the new truck comes with, including a fully computerized system and an onboard phone.
The new 2021 truck’s engine is a 350 horse Cummins, has a Freightliner chassis, a Hale DSD1250 Midship Pump, Emergency Rescue Pumper with side control operator’s panel, the body construction is saltwater marine grade aluminum, and the water tank holds 1,000 gallons.
Other features on the truck include a front bumper hose bin, a hydraulic overhead ladder rack, a 2500 watt inverter, FRC evolution push up scene lights, Whelen warning and scene light package, an Akron Apollo monitor, and a Whelen TAL65 traffic advisor.
Ive says with the pumps having the capacity to push 1250 gallons a minute they will provide more volume than any of the other firetrucks in their hall. It also carries 30 gallons of foam.
“It’s basically rigged up for the future,” he added, “As the community expands and grows bigger we’re going to need more and more water supply. If they want to build apartment buildings we’re going to need more water – that’s the reason for the bigger pump.”
“It also carries it’s own hoses,” added Ive, “For instance, the front bumper is bigger because it carries a line there for small fires. In total the new firetruck carries 1250 feet of four inch hose, 600 feet of attack lines, there’s another 300 feet that can be used to expand it or connect to a hydrant; in total there’s about 2200 feet of hose on the truck.”
Chief Wohlgemuth added, “We have been having to come back, pull all the hose off and then re-put new hose on. This truck has trays, so that cuts our time out of service by a large amount. Also, climbing up on the truck to take the ladder off and put it back on takes a lot of time. Now it only takes a few seconds to bring the ladder down off the roof of the truck by simply flicking a switch.
“We’re also very excited about all the storage places available and how all of the equipment is in it’s own cupboard or drawer within the unit.”
The new fire engine carries numerous compartments that carry all of the gear required for fighting fires. This includes air bottles and breathing apparatus that fully support five firefighters when they are on board.
“The District upgraded all of our breathing gear this year to state of the art,” said Ive, “Brand new equipment that no longer has to be taken out of service due to an expiry date as now they can be repaired.”
“There have been a lot of changes since I started with the department in 1998 said the Chief, “The breathing apparatus that we have now provide more safety features, and they help us watch out for each other in a fire.”
Ive notes that within the next few years this system will be upgraded to include a tracking system to enhance the safety of the firefighters. When a firefighter is wearing it, information from the system will be relayed to their phones showing where the others are, how much air they’ve got, what their body temperature is, and what the air temperature is.”
He also noted that more regulations are now in effect regarding firetrucks.
“As a town gets bigger the lifespan of your truck decreases – front line is 15 years, secondary is 20 years,” said Ive, “The department will have another truck that will be coming due for replacement in a couple more years.
“We’re really excited about the new truck,” said Ive, “We want to play with it – but we hope we don’t have to use it.”
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