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CCFR rolls 2 new fire engines into service
Published: 02/23/2012 17:10:30
A few weeks ago, Capital City Fire Rescue took delivery of 2 brand new fire engines. The built to order engines which cost about 6 hundred thousand dollars each go into service today. The engines replace and upgrade aging engines with some new features to help speed up response and make is safer.

Rich Etheridge is the CCFR Fire Chief, he told us about some of the capabilities of the new engines: "With the new engines, one of the things that we did that's different is that we put all of the extrication tools on the front bumper with some battery operated lights. So when they arrive on scene, they can get their Jaws Of Life and the cutters and those things out a lot faster and a safer operation. We've got a hard cover over the top on the hose bed which will prevent fire fighters from falling out of the hose bed when they're reloading and cleaning up after a fire. All the hose compartments and pump panels and everything have been lowered so it's a little more user friendly, we don't have to have, you know, eight foot tall firefighters. The fire pump and the water capacity are all about the same, these carry 750 gallons of water with the same size pump, and other than that they're just kind of an updated safer version of the existing apparatus. We've got more safety features; air-bags, computer controlled suspensions, data recorders and things like that."

The Downtown and Glacier valley fire stations are manned 24/7 by a full time career staff of 33, and are the primary responders to calls. After 5 to 10 years, as newer engines are acquired, the older apparatus is cycled to the Douglas, Auk Bay and Lynn Canal fire stations which are manned by a pool of about 85 volunteers. The volunteer stations need to respond to less calls and this greatly reduces the mileage and extends the life of the engines. Older units retired from those stations still have enough life in them to serve other communities in southeast.

"Gustavus has come over and asked us if, when we surplus it, they can put their name in the hat if they can receive it. And then we're going to keep the other one as a reserve engine for a little while, that way if a piece of apparatus has to be taken out of service for maintenance or something breaks, we've got something that we can just jump right into" said Etheridge.

The new engines are easy to spot. "The biggest tell-tale sign that it's the new engines is the bright reflective stuff on the back of it. We're excited to have them and we hope the public is appreciative of them also" added Etheridge.

By: Mikko Wilson -