No matter the emergency, fire crews want to be best prepared with the latest tools and resources.
“It’s pretty quick-paced,” Ellis County Fire Department Captain #6 Chris Cline said. “As soon as you hear your pager, drop what we’re doing, we’re running in, putting on gear.”
They are difficult to put out and not uncommon for this time of the year.
Ellis County firefighters said just in the last three years, there have been a significant amount of wildfires.
“There was about 7,200 acres of wildfire that had actually burned,” Ellis County Fire and Emergency Management Director Darin Myers said. “The year previous to that, we had about 8,400 acres just in Ellis County.”
They know just how important it is to be prepared, and Ellis County is about to upgrade an important piece of equipment to battle the flames.
A new customized truck.
“This is like a once in every ten year event to get a new truck.” Cline said. “And it’s even better yet because it’s replacing a 1978 big international five speed manual transmission.”
Hays Fire and Rescue Sales and Service is building the department a one-of-a-kind fire and rescue truck.
President of Hays Fire and Rescue Kelly Meyers said the truck is about 90 percent done.
“We’re about to the finish with the wiring,” he said. “We started building this truck from scratch about three months ago.”
This F-550 is smaller than the traditional fire trucks, but for a good reason.
“This will get up tot speed quicker, slow down quicker,” Cline said. “A lot of the country roads we travel on are not exactly a lane and a half wide. So, maneuverability and getting out of turnarounds will be a lot easier.”
Cline also said the smaller sized truck will help with response time.
The economic-friendly truck will hold 500 gallons of water, include phone capability, generator, air pack systems and more.
“It’s going to have everything a normal fire truck will have,” Cline said. “It’s just new, small and better.”
The truck will not only help crews battle fires, but also rescue individuals.
“The most common calls we have are for vehicle accidents,” Myers said.
The truck will also include hydraulic cutters, spreaders, airbags that inflate to rescue people and more.