Windham Fire Department welcomed a new member this past week, a 2016 Pierce Pumper truck that holds 1,000 gallons of water, 30 gallons of foam and has seating for five firefighters.
The new truck will replace a 1994 truck that will become a spare, reserve truck, replacing a 1981 truck. Fire trucks have an average life span between 20 and 25 years, according to fire chief Brent Libby.
The new truck is made of aluminum with a galvanized frame instead of steel. This alleviates the problem of rust, giving the rig longer life if maintained properly. The truck has many new safety features to make it safe for the firefighters.
“There has been more awareness around cancer and firefighters,” said Libby. Everything firefighters are exposed to is potentially dangerous from burning buildings and ash to chemicals given off at fires. The new truck as a “clean cab”, which means that there is a storage location out of the cab for the air packs and gear to be stored, so that when firefighters are done at a scene they are getting into the cab the cleanest they can be after fighting a fire. In the older trucks the gear is taken right into the cab with them. “This will help reduce that exposure,” Libby added.
“Incidents (of cancer) in firefighters are very high.”
Other new technology is the upgraded LED lights that can illuminate a site in the dark of night. Ladders are stored inside the keep them out of the weather. The heating and air conditioning systems are improved and the insulation is superior making the noise inside the cab noticeable different. Medical equipment is now kept in the cab very accessible.
The truck will be housed at the North Windham Fire Station to respond to fires, alarms and car crashes. It will take one month to get everyone trained on the truck and will go into service near the end of October. The rig will be at Public Safety Day on October 1 at the public safety building on Route 202.
The final cost for the truck was $437,000.
Pictures (L to R)
Deputy Chief Dave Nichols
Chief Brent Libby
Deputy Chief John Wescott