Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Department members that underwent the two-day training Saturday afternoon were Chief Lester Fagg, Scott Riddell, Adam Fagg, Jeff Dixon, Eddie Treadway, James Clarkston and Gary Fagg. Other members that also trained on the new engine were Tim Stearley, Brett and Sherry Stevens, Harold Payne, Lanessa Fagg, Windell Payne, Jerry Siddons Bradley Hiland, Troy Nichols, Don Lanham, Nic Elliot and Jeff McCullough.
For the first time in 25 years, with assistance from the Homeland Security Department's FEMA Assistance to Fire Fighters Grant, the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Department took possession of a new fire engine last week.
"The whole department was involved in the effort to get this new engine," Chief Lester Fagg said of the time spent in researching grants and planning the design for the new tanker/pumper engine. The firefighters began the process four years ago and saw it through to its delivery on May 20. "There were evenings where we spent eight hours just going over the design details for this engine with the representative from American LeFrance to make sure it had everything we needed."
Holding a little more than 2,500 gallons of water and a dump tank, the tanker/pumper engine will be able to handle fires in rural areas where there is limited fire hydrants available. The dump tank can be dropped on sight, then filled with the water from the tanker/pumper engine for firefighters use while the engine can leave to fill up with more water throughout the fire as necessary.
The new engine also has the capability of putting out fires where water will not work.
"If a semi on the interstate catches fire, water will not work. Foam is the only thing that will work in that situation," Fagg said of the 20-gallon tank of foam used to smother the oxygen that feeds this type intensity of fire.
The completely self-contained unit holds air packs, ladders and other miscellaneous equipment needed by firefighters at a fire scene.
"This is a great design, one that other fire departments have expressed interest in ordering as well," Fagg said. "We're really proud of it."
The new engine also allows for greater service and security for the community.
"With the purchase of this new engine, we can now go out on a call with the knowledge that we have a backup engine at the firehouse in case of a second fire within the community," Fagg said.
A Grand Opening and Open House has been scheduled for Memorial Day from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. to show off the new tanker/pumper engine to the community. The annual All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast will also take place that morning with various briefest items on the menu for a free-will donation to the department.
"We want to invite everyone to come out and see the new engine," Fagg said.