‘We are all very happy with the outcome of the design’
BROOKFIELD – It’s been four years in the making, but firefighters here finally have a new tanker truck in their fleet.
Rod Nielsen sits in the driver’s seat of the Brookfield Fire and Emergency Service’s new tanker. It was a four-year plan for the department, and the tanker is replacing a 1984 pumper tanker that was taken out of service in February due to a broken frame. Raissa Tetanish – Truro Daily News
Rod Nielsen, chief of Brookfield Fire and Emergency Services, said the $340,000 tanker arrived on April 11.
“For the firefighters, it’s been a long wait,” he said, just after returning to the hall from a medical emergency. “They’re very glad to see it here and we are all very happy with the outcome of the design.”
The department has been working on a plan for the past four years and has been working in earnest for the past two years visiting other departments throughout the province to see what they use.
The new 2014 Freightliner ULC certified tanker is replacing a 1984 pumper tanker that has been out of service since February because of a broken frame, said Nielsen.
“We have a great mutual aid system in place with other departments helping us out, so it was never a concern for our department. Our biggest risk by being without that pumper tanker was the mutual aid we provide to outside departments. We were very fortunate otherwise.”
The fire department’s 35 members respond to an average of 180 to 200 calls each year and the new tanker has already been dispatched.
“We were called to Stewiacke this week. They were called to help out a woods fire in Shubenacadie and we were in their area on standby,” the chief said.
Training on the new apparatus has been completed, with some finishing their training Wednesday night.
The tanker features an automatic transmission; the previous pumper tanker had 13 speeds, which limited the number of drivers trained on the apparatus.
The tanker can carry 2,000 imperial gallons of water, with three directions of water flow. A new feature compared to the previous truck is a covered hose bit.
“We also have ladder access to the rear of the truck instead of steps,” said Nielsen. “But one of the biggest safety features is the rear view camera, which we really like.”
The two firefighters that are able to sit in the truck will have shoulder straps.
“That was something that always bothered me. Some of our seatbelts didn’t even fit the firefighters,” he said.
Nielsen said the department doesn’t do much fundraising for vehicles, and funding for the new tanker will come from the tax rate, which Nielsen hopes will be paid off within three years.
“They’re usually five-year plans, but we were a little behind,” he said. “We’re hoping to have it paid within three, and then we have a 1985 pumper to replace. Work has already started on those plans.”