Pumped: Fire department gets two new trucks - Brownsville Herald: Local News

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Pumped: Fire department gets two new trucks

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 9:00 pm

The Brownsville Fire Department recently took delivery of two new, state-of-the-art pumper trucks, and Chief Jarrett Sheldon can’t wait to show them off, which he’ll get to do at a big unveiling planned for this month.

“They are brand new Spartan Metro Stars,” he said. “They were delivered pretty much turnkey. We were able to put them into service immediately.”

Assigned to Station 4 on Old Alice Road and Station 9 on East Alton Gloor Boulevard, the new trucks reflect the department’s ongoing effort to improve services, Sheldon said. Station 4 serves the middle of town and Station 9 basically everything north of F.M. 802 — both busy parts of the city, he said.

“It’s a beautiful truck,” Sheldon said. “We’re really excited to have these in service.”

The S-180 pumpers, manufactured by Spartan Motors, headquartered in Michigan, are painted in BFD’s signature Ford Race Red, which he noted “stands out a little bit more.”

Each of the trucks seats four and holds 1,000 gallons of water and 20 gallons of foam. Each comes equipped with a 1,500-gallon-per-minute pump. The trucks feature independent front suspension, in-cab EMS cabinets, USB ports throughout the cabs, eight airbags each and heavy-duty conditioning — hardly a luxury considering the intense heat firefighters often endure.

“One of my favorite parts is the advanced climate control system,” Sheldon said. “It’s really good, which is very important to firefighter rehabilitation.”

The trucks also come with upgraded air tanks for firefighters and lighter hydraulic rescue tools. And though they look imposing, the vehicles are designed, per BFD’s specifications, to be able to maneuver Brownsville’s inner city streets, Sheldon said. The independent front suspension, meanwhile, makes for a tighter turning radius, he said.

“Most trucks take almost a year to build, so it does take a while,” Sheldon said. “The standards are pretty serious.”

Powered by 450-horsepower Cummings diesel engines, the pumpers cost slightly under $750,000 a piece and replace two trucks, built nearly 20 years ago, that were starting to exhibit mechanical wear, he said. In addition, BFD expects to take delivery of a new, $1.2 million Spartan Metro aerial ladder truck within a few weeks, Sheldon said.

BFD’s practice is to keep its big fire trucks on the front lines for 10 to 15 years, then move them to reserve status once they’re replaced, he said. The city may sell or auction off older equipment, though a couple of retired trucks have been donated to the Matamoros fire department, Sheldon said.

BFD has eight big trucks and three or four reserves, plus a heavy ladder rescue truck, a couple of airport crash vehicles, haz-mat truck and trailer, brush trucks and dozens of other specialized response apparatus. All told, BFD’s fleet contains a little over 60 vehicles, Sheldon said.

But it will be all the shiny new gear front and center at a public event in September — the date hasn’t been decided yet — at Station 8, at the entrance to the Port of Brownsville.

“We’re also redoing our training field,” Sheldon said. “It’s going to be a big event, showing off all this stuff.”

Not that there aren’t always more items on the wish list, though BFD and the city have made “pretty amazing” progress sustaining and improving the fleet at a time the department is developing plans for growing with the city, he said. Sheldon credited city leadership, emergency management and other departments for working together to get BFD where it needs to be.

“To me it’s a new department,” he said. “It’s a new day and it’s very exciting. It’s a great time to be chief. ... I think there’s a great team in the city right now that’s working to be sustainable and be proactive and innovative and more efficient.”

sclark@brownsvilleherald.com

Follow us on Facebook

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>