By Karen Daniels
When purchasing a new fire truck it’s not like going to the local car lot and picking out the newest model. For the City of Stafford this project, which involved forming an apparatus committee of seven, took eighteen months from start to finish. One of the decisions the committee made was the return to a manually run truck. As technologically advanced as we’ve become, the more electrical gadgets on a truck, the more problems that can occur. According to Stafford’s Fire Chief, Lawrence Di Camillo, “Both of these trucks (the twins as they are referred to) are back to basic pumpers. They were designed to be safe, cost effective, and low maintenance.”
Made in Wisconsin by Pierce Manufacturing, the cost for the trucks was over $524,000 each with an additional $75,000 for the loose equipment needed on board such as air tanks, axes, hose lines, and the jaws of life, to name a few. Each of the pumper trucks are three feet shorter than standard for greater maneuverability in parking lots and cul-de-sacs. Water is dispensed at two-thousand gallons per minute, making these pumpers more powerful than most, but needed with Stafford’s large community of businesses. The design has been so successful other fire departments have called to borrow their specs. In addition to these two pumpers, Stafford now has a grass fire truck, that so far with this summer’s consistent rainfall, has not been used.
Stafford has three fire departments: Station 1 on Hwy 90; Station 2 on Mula Road; and Station 3 in The Meadows. Thirty-two part-timers, forty-nine volunteers, and three full-time fire fighters run these stations. Their highest volume of calls is during the weekday with 55% for medical assistance and 45% for fire incidents. Each of Stafford’s fire departments welcome tours. Although October is fire awareness month, it never hurts to refresh safety rules with your family and to visit the new fire trucks.