Medina firefighters have new truck for emergenciesAfter four years of fundraising efforts, the Medina Fire Department purchased a fire truck — and became registered as a heavy rescue team.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
MEDINA, N.D. —After four years of fundraising efforts, the Medina Fire Department purchased a fire truck — and became registered as a heavy rescue team.
The 1995 International 4900 came with a DT466 diesel engine, and had only 20,000 miles on it from its previous owners in Maryland. It cost $95,000, a sharp markdown from its original $325,000 price.
“We had a lot of community support,” said Raymond Hofmann, president of the Medina City and Rural Fire Protection District.
The new rig has a lot more space than the old rig — 400 cubic feet — and enabled the fire department to change its registration with the state from light rescue to heavy. Previously, the firefighters hadn’t had enough room to put all their hydraulic equipment on the truck.
The vehicle has already been on two rescue calls and one potential structure fire call since it was put into service in November, said Fire Chief Brian Moser.
The fire truck has quite a bit of conventional storage space, including shelves that slide out on either side of the truck.
It also has a 25-kilowatt generator connected to an auxiliary shaft of the transmission, a 10,000-pound winch mounted on the front and a bottle-filling station for the air tanks firefighters’ use.
“We will run to any of our fire calls and provide support services for that,” Brian Rau, deputy fire chief.
There’s room for even heavy rescue equipment, including two 22-foot ladders, the Jaws of Life and cutters, which can be attached to the gasoline-driven hydraulic system. The water rescue equipment, including warm suits and floating devices, all fits into the truck.
“We couldn’t ever carry our water rescue equipment on that other one,” Moser said.
There’s room for hand tools, winches and the cribbing used to stabilize wrecks. Firefighters keep an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) in the vehicle, too.
Even with all that equipment, several of the cubbyholes and shelves in the truck are still empty.
“We were getting pretty desperate. (The previous rig) was overloaded — way overloaded,” Moser said.
On its exterior, the new truck has plenty of extra lighting, some of which can be removed from the truck to be set up wherever it is needed, and some of which can be manipulated from inside the truck — which has room for five firefighters. The back of the truck features lights on the back that can function as arrows, pointing drivers to whichever direction they need to go.
Money from the vehicle came from a number of sources. The fire department was unable to obtain any of the three grants it applied for, but the local Lions Club and the local United Church of Christ contributed. Several individuals gave $200 to $300 apiece. The fire department itself hosted a spaghetti feed fundraiser.
The local ambulance squad gave $10,000 for the truck, and it also paid the rental fee for its part of the fire hall for five years in advance to provide more funds.
Many of the 23 people in the fire department are also members of the ambulance squad, Rau said.
The new truck joins Medina’s small fleet, which includes the previous truck, a 2,000-gallon tanker/pumper, a 2,400-gallon water truck and three rolling units set up to fight brush fires.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453
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