New fire trucks delivered to Madison
Staff Reports Madison County Record
Madison Fire and Rescue's new fire trucks have been delivered and will soon be in full operation in a couple of weeks.
Training on the new trucks will begin this month.
Chief Ralph Cobb, along with firefighters Ron Hopkins and Bobby Phillip, gave brief explanations of the unique characteristics of the trucks. The purchase price was $438,000 each and includes a significant amount of equipment. The delivery of the trucks was intended to coincide with the opening of Station 3 on County Line Road. Construction of Station 3 is still under way.
Saulsberry Fire Apparatus in Prebble, New York built the trucks. They were ordered in November 2001.
"What's unique about these two trucks is the fact that the pump is mounted on the rear of the truck. This allows the pump operator greater visibility of the fire scene, greater safety and increases the storage capacity of the truck," Hopkins said.
"The trucks have a compressed air foam system – something we've never worked with," Phillips said. "The use of compressed air foam increases extinguishing power, decreases water use, decreases damage (particularly water damage) and decreases fatigue."
Chief Cobb said insurers in other states are offering a homeowner's insurance discount within cities using compressed air foam.
"Perhaps Alabama will follow suit soon," Cobb said.
Other features on the trucks that is new to Madison is led lights. Cobb said led lights are brighter and decreases the overall electrical load.
"A blade siren is also located on the trucks. This type of siren will be better able to penetrate the quiet ride of modern automobiles," Cobb said. "Also new to us on these trucks is the fact that firefighters suffer from premature hearing loss. An on-board intercom system is built in."
Cobb said the on-board intercom system helps in communications while en-route to a scene and offers hearing protection to the firefighters.
"Citizens may worry when they observe the driver of the apparatus wearing a headset. However, the system filters noise at frequencies harmful to the driver and actually allows him to better monitor the sounds of traffic," Cobb said.
Hopkins said due to the volume and type of calls, the new trucks will be housed at Station 1 and 2.
"Since we haven't worked on a truck like this, we will go through extensive training in the proper usage of the truck," Phillips said. "Madison Fire and Rescue designed these trucks for our needs. We're glad they are hear and we are anxious to put them into use."
Phillips said part of the training would include setting up situations where various aspects of the pump and compressed air foam system will be used.