TOP STORY OF THE DAY, brought to you free by WICU: Brazil Fire Dept. happy to receive new equipment
The Brazil Fire Department took delivery of a state-of-art fire engine Monday morning.
“This isn’t something done on a whim. We’ve been talking about this in budget meetings for four years,” said Brazil Fire Chief Jake Bennett about the newest piece of fire equipment purchased with bond financing in 2019. It took a lot of effort by a lot of people - members of the city council, Board of Works, Mayor Bryan Wyndham, the city attorney, fire chief and firefighters worked together - to figure out a way to purchase this, evaluate its design and get it here today.”
The department, which goes out on approximately 550 calls for service annually, has not purchased a new engine in more than 20 years.
In Bradenton, Florida, Pierce Manufacturing Inc. built the engine using the specifics customized for the needs of the city fire department.
Bennett explained the “Saber” chassis is designed with advanced visibility, allowing for bigger cab space for both the firefighters and their equipment while traveling to calls, improved ergonomics with a lowered hose bed for the water supply and hose lines, increased compartment space for storage of tools to handle the wide variety of emergency responses.
Bennett highlighted a unique safety measure visible to the public. An LED water gauge showing four colors on both sides of the engine allows firefighters to keep an eye on the water levels inside the tank on the engine while working to put out fires.
The engine also has a rear back-up camera on the engine and overall LED lighting.
“We wanted an engine that would be ready for whatever situation we might face when called out to serve the community,” said Bennett. “The community deserves this, and so do the guys who are dedicated to serving this community.”
Officials expect the engine to be fully in service at the end of February. Firefighters will undergo more training on the new engine with the manufacturer in the coming weeks while organizing and equipping the engine.
“We’re used to a truck that was 20 years old,” he said. “So we are going to have to get used to a new design.”
The city fire department is undergoing much-needed renovations (taking over the Brazil Police Department’s vacated offices at City Hall). It has also recently replaced the more than 15-year old self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) equipment.
“These equipment improvements are a big deal, firefighters have maintained the equipment well but the wear and tear of years of use requires updates and replacement,” said Bennett. “Mayor Wyndham was a big help in making both of these new equipment projects a priority last year, and I’m thankful”.
Bennett said the planning and design team felt it was also important to remember the fire service’s history. They added a silver Chrome bell to the front of the chassis.
“It’s what they used to use to alert people back in the horse, and buggy days when there was an emergency. Since the invention of sirens, the bell became a signal that all was well, the call to service was over while returning to the station,” Bennett said, adding the department had such a bell on their fire engines for many years but had to remove it and place it in storage back in the mid 1990’s We wanted to honor that history by adding a new bell to this engine.”