Two newly manufactured fire trucks hit the streets of Cartersville after Fire Chief Scott Carter presented the engines to the city council Thursday night.
Costing $436,516 each, the new Velocity SLT Custom Pumpers were ordered in October 2014 and manufactured by Pierce Fire Apparatus in Appleton, Wisconsin. Funds were allotted in the 2014-2015 budget.
“We operate on a 10-year plan where we purchase a new fire truck and it remains on the frontline for emergency response for 10 years and then goes into reserve for 10 years. This allows us to get a full 20 years of service out of a fire truck,” Carter said. “These trucks will be replacing trucks that were purchased in 2001 and 2002. Because of the economy and the fact that we have a very strong preventative maintenance program, we did not meet our 10-year replacement goal but were able to stretch extra emergency life out of those trucks.”
Each engine, which went through extensive testing after delivery, is capable of pumping 1,500 gallons per minute at a maximum pressure of 400 psi. They include features such as thermal imagining equipment for rescue and firefighting operations; hydraulic rescue capabilities; and an integrated Firecom communication system that allows firefighters clear communications inside the cab.
“This system is also an additional safety system for our firefighters because it provides hearing protection in very high noise environments that firefighters typically have to work in during an emergency,” Carter said.
The department’s fleet will be equipped later this year with tablets or laptops tied into the New World system being implemented countywide to improve interoperability of public safety agencies and 911.
Safety is paramount to CFD and Carter credits the city administration for keeping it that way.
“The city’s leadership has been instrumental in their commitment to the safety of our firefighters, citizens and guests in Cartersville by supporting the purchase of such equipment. Their support is one of the key reasons that we are rated as a Class 1 ISO community. This is the highest rating that can be achieved and less than 1 percent of fire departments nationwide achieve such a mark,” he said.
Standing in the lobby of CFD Station 1, Carter points to the 1918 engine on display in the lobby and remarks about how far the fire service has come.
“A lot has changed in the manufacturing of fire trucks since our city bought its first motorized fire truck in 1918, but what has not changed is our commitment to provide the best public safety service possible to our citizens,” he said. “No matter how strong and technologically advanced these trucks become, they must still be driven and manned by firefighters and these firefighters that we have in Cartersville are the real reason that fire trucks like these can have such a positive impact on the lives of this community.”