The gleaming new red fire truck is a welcome sight for the Rincon Fire Department — and not just because it was delivered well ahead of schedule.
A new pumper/tanker, capable of carrying 2,500 gallons of water, is ready to roll for Rincon firefighters, almost two and a half month ahead of schedule.
“It’s been in the works the last three years,” Rincon Fire Chief Corey Rahn said.
The new pumper/tanker was built from the ground up according to the Rincon department’s specifications by Pierce Manufacturing, a Wisconsin-based fire truck manufacturer. The RFD gave its specifications to Pierce in March 2007, with an expected delivery time of nine months.
“It was custom built for us,” Rahn said.
The tank on the truck gives it a higher profile than a normal engine. But it’s a dream to drive, Rincon firefighters said. The truck’s cab has room for six firefighters.
“It’s a Cadillac,” Rahn said.
“It’s a smooth-riding vehicle,” said assistant chief Kenny Whitten Sr.
Along with the 2,500 gallon tank — most engines carry 750 gallons — the new vehicle can pump 2,000 gallons per minute. It also has a foam pump that can put more foam faster on a fire than anything else the department has. The foam will be used for industrial fires and on flammable liquids that can’t be extinguished by water.
Rincon’s fire trucks have foam capability, but Rahn explained that to use the foam takes several steps and equipment.
“It will get foam on fires a lot quicker,” he said of the new truck.
The new vehicle, Engine 9 in the department’s inventory, also is expected to be a big help in fighting fires where hydrants are few and far between, if they exist at all.
“It gets more water on the scene quicker in rural areas that (do not have hydrants),” Rahn said.
The new truck also has a 3,000 gallon portable pond that can be filled to fight fires.
“It’s a good all-around truck,” Rahn said. “It’s capable of fighting every fire we get, from vehicle fires to brush fires to house fires to major industrial fires. It’s a traditional pumper, with a big tanker.”
It also can reduce the number of firefighters that needed to be called out to fight a fire, especially during the day when firefighters —the force is all volunteer — are harder to come by. Rahn said the department is seeking volunteers, especially on the northern end of its service area near Highway 275.
Engine 9 will be stationed at Fire Station No. 2 on Highway 275 to be closer to areas that aren’t as well served by hydrants, Rahn said.
Rincon’s ISO rating is 5 and the rating is expected to be lowered. The lower the ISO rating, the lower homeowners’ insurance rates are.
“Every piece of equipment we get is working toward the ISO rating,” Rahn said.
The truck costs $388,000 and with the equipment, the price runs to $425,000. It is replacing an engine that is 29 years old that was in the city’s service for 28 years.
“It’s a 30-year investment,” Rahn said.