With New Engine, It's 'Christmastime' at SP Fire House
It’s red and white and screams down the road with a price tag to rival a hot Italian sports car, but don’t look for it to win too many long-distance races.
But even at 53,000 pounds fully loaded, the new engine debuting today for the Southern Pines Fire and Rescue Department has plenty of hustle for around town.
The new pumper/tanker engine going into service replaces an engine that had served the department for more than two decades.
Fire Chief Hampton Williams said everyone in his department is excited to roll out the new engine.
“Anytime you get a new engine that’s like Christmastime,” he said.
The new five-person pumper-tanker engine has a 1,500 gallon-per-minute pump and carries 1,000 gallons of water. It also has a mounted 1,500 pound winch in the front bumper for rescues and comes equipped with extrication tools to get out victims caught in tight spaces.
The vehicle will serve as a rescue pumper responding to fire, rescue and automobile accident emergencies. It is replacing a 21-year-old engine known as Engine 812. The new truck will carry the same number.
The old engine, which likely will be sold to a smaller department that runs fewer calls, lacks the winch and the extrication equipment that the new one has and also has a slower pumping capacity.
““It (new engine) is just a more modern, multipurpose truck,” Williams said.
The new truck cost $478,000. Fire engines are typically used for 20 years before they are replaced. The first 15 of those years, the engine is a primary responder. The final five it is a secondary responder. If the engine meets that life-span, it will cost the town $23,900 per year.
Purchased from Pierce Impel in Appleton, Wis., the truck arrived in Southern Pines on May 7. Since its arrival, it has participated in several training exercises and been equipped with all the necessary items firefighters need when responding to a call.
The new truck gives the department eight vehicles. They include: three engines, a ladder truck, a rescue truck, a tanker/water truck, a brush truck, and an emergency support vehicle.
The department handled 1,700 calls last year, and Williams said that number has increased every year for the past decade.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More like this story