Wednesday, July 07, 1999
High-tech fire trucks debut
Multipurpose vehicles added to Mason squad
BY DAVID ECK
MASON It's like a firefighter's Nintendo set.
Brad Weesner, a firefighter/paramedic/engineer with the Mason Fire Department, shows off some of the operations possible with the remote controls on the department's new fire truck.
(Dick Swaim photo)
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Using hand-held remotes, Mason firefighters can operate the 66-foot aerial ladders on the city's two new fire trucks from the ground, standing at any position around the vehicle. The remote enables crews to see the ladder at all times, en hancing safety.
That is one of the features on the fire engines, which arrived last week. Cost of the units: nearly $1 million. The trucks are identical.
They will be the first responding vehicles from the department's two stationsand can perform several functions simultaneously, eliminating the need for additional equipment.
The trucks carry water, an aerial ladder, rescue equipment and pumps. They will be staffed with firefighter/paramedics and carry medical supplies for advanced life support.
We can handle 90 percent of anything that's thrown our way with these trucks, said Mason Fire Chief William Goldfeder. If you have a medical emergency, these trucks can handle it. They can handle a car crash.
Unlike large aerial towers, the new engines are about the same size as a standard pumper, which allows them to move easily through subdivisions, the chief said. They also have air conditioning and the firefighters are chipping in to put stereos in the units.
Other features include an automated ladder rack that lowers the ground ladders, a computerized pump that sets appropriate water pressure and a system that can change traffic signals to green as the truck approaches an intersection.
Because the trucks are identical and carry the same equipment, training for engine operators is streamlined, Deputy Fire Chief Steve Pegram said.
After about a month of crew training the trucks are expected to be placed into service on Aug. 1, he said.
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