New Firefighting Tool Put to the Test

By: Charles Daniel
By: Charles Daniel

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The Meridian Fire Department put its new fire engine through the ringer Friday as it underwent a two-hour test at Bonita Lakes.

The 2005 Pierce Quantum Rescue/Pumper was picked by the department because of its safety features and advanced capabilities.

"This truck has the capabilities to do things with trained personnel that we only dreamed about years ago," said Deputy Fire Chief Sammy Foy. "This truck is comparable to any trucks built in the United States today."

One of the best features of this engine is the Class A and Class B foam capabilities. Previously, firefighters had to take several extra steps to add foam when fighting a liquid fire, such as a fuel spill. Now, those steps are removed and firefighters can extinguish the fire that much faster.

"This truck is the only one we have ever bought that has two different classes of foam systems on it. Compressed air foam which is primarily for interior firefighting and then a Class B foam system that is primarily for flammable liquids," said Foy. "And then the truck also carries an assortment of rescue tools that none of our other pumpers do."

Other safety features which influenced the purchase of this particular truck include an advanced braking system and independent front suspension. Both allow the truck better handling and better braking, as well as improved ride quality.

It also had the lowest available steps, which helps ensure firefighters a safer step down during wet conditions.

Over the next few weeks, firefighters will be trained on the new truck. Then they will assist with the outfitting of the truck and placement of tools and other rescue items.

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