Ask any firefighter - there's nothing like a new truck!
Captain LeRoy Richardson and Deputy Chief Howie Tighe, who was captain of the old Engine 1 before becoming a chief last spring, spent many hours designing the set of specs they put out to bid for the new truck. Former Chief Bob Bryer oversaw the design of the new engine, the two firefighters noted.
The new Engine 1 cost the town $373,000, Tighe said, noting that the town budgeted money in each of the last four years to pay for it. A company called E-One out of Ocala, Fla., won the bid to build Engine 1 for the fire department.
They expect Engine 1 to serve the town for about 30 years, Tighe and Richardson said, noting it was "longer than we'll be here."
The truck had to be a specific size "to fit into the bay" of the fire station, and they wanted a compressed air foam system, or CAFS, to increase the department's firefighting capabilities. The inside of the cab, which seats six, is pretty utilitarian, "but it has a new-car smell," Richardson said, pointing that with a firetruck, "the money's where the pump is."
Tighe explained the value of the CAFS.
He said that the new truck holds 1,000 gallons of water and another 40 gallons of fire-suppression foam.
With the truck's state-of-theart capabilities, Tighe said water passes through a compressor, mixes with the foam, and depending on the ratio of water to foam set by the firefighters, 1,000 gallons of water can be expanded to 4,000 gallons of fire-suppression liquid.
"The amount of water damage to a dwelling is greatly decreased" because of the lessened amount of water needed to fight a fire, Tighe said.
Foam is typically used to fight fuel or gasoline fires, Tighe said, but he added that the new "Class A" foam stored in the truck is rated for house fires.
"It can make a big difference," Tighe said.
Another improvement in the new truck is that the hoses are 4 inches in diameter, where some of the other trucks use three-inch hoses. The extra inch means that water can move faster, Tighe said.
Everyone in the department is being trained on both driving the new vehicle, an automatic, and using the CAFS, Tighe said. He noted that the new engine is designed to be much quieter than those in the older trucks.
Although certain personnel are assigned to the new engine, "Everyone gets trained on everything" in Jamestown so that no matter who shows up to fight a fire they are all up to speed on every piece of apparatus.
The new engine is "fire engine red," Tighe said, noting that they had to select from several colors including yellow, fluorescent green, and blue.
"We're traditionalists," Richardson said, pointing out the American flags silk screened on the rear equipment doors of the truck.
The engine replaces a 1973 Maxim that initially cost $44,000 and was later refurbished in 1995 at a cost of some $80,000, Tighe said.
In its 33 years of service, the old Engine 1 pumped 7,000 hours and answered 6,000 calls, Tighe said.
As part of the bid for the new truck, the old Engine 1 is being traded in, Tighe said, noting that they were stripping off any useful equipment this week.
"Then it's off to the boneyard," Tighe said.