Friday, January 22, 2016

Raymond Fire Department readies new truck - By Michelle Libby

Raymond Fire Department, under the direction of Chief Bruce Tupper, is outfitting the first new fire truck in many years. The new truck is fresh off the assembly line with a design created in part by the people who will use the truck the most, Raymond fire fighters.
Tupper asked his staff to design a fire truck with all of the components they wanted to see and they came through with a design that is functional, safe and ready to handle any challenge that Raymond and the surrounding communities have for it. 

The new truck has a stainless steel body, which won’t have the same problems the aluminum ones do, like reacting with the road treatments in the winter and bubbling paint. 
The truck has “tons of room”. It was designed with efficiency in mind. The truck is taller, but shorter and much more maneuverable than the trucks already in use, according to Tupper.   

The truck carries compressed air foam and water is pushed out at 1,500 gallons per minute. The price difference between a 1,250 gallons per minute unit and this one was not much, Tupper said. 

The fire truck cost $424,999.99 out the door. Tupper was able to get some discounts through different group buys and a local bond to provide payment up front. 

When making a 20-year purchase, the department had to think about what they might need in the future. “The capabilities of this are great. It seats four, is comfortable, efficient and engineered for what we do,” Tupper said. “This is the working man’s truck. It’s not designed to be the parade piece.” It has a galvanized frame and rails and many of the additions to the truck were with Raymond in mind. A front suction means that filling the truck with water can be easier from any of the lakes and ponds in the town by driving straight in and not having to turn the truck sideways. Its size makes it better to fit down the many camp roads. The LED lights make everything safer in the long run, and all of the equipment is on the inside. 

With ladders and hoses inside the truck, the items take less of a beating by the elements saving money. The truck also has a back up camera and air bags. The technology this truck provides helps to keep the fire fighters safe while they do their job. 

Right now, the truck has many open spaces and compartments, but soon they will hold the equipment needed to fight fires, respond to accidents and keep Raymond and beyond safe. 

The crown on the new truck is the $1,800 chrome bell donated by Captain Cliff Small. 

“It’s tradition,” Tupper said. Small said he wanted to see a bell on the truck, so he made it happen. Tupper and all the fire fighters are grateful. The bell can be rung from inside the compartment creating the loud, clear sound reminiscent of fire trucks from the past. 

“It’s nice, pretty, tradition. It creates a lot of pride within the department,” Tupper added. 

The truck still has two more months of set up and transfer of equipment before it will be put into service, Tupper said. For now they are figuring out where to put equipment and mount it. 

In addition to the new truck, the Raymond Fire-Rescue Association is raising money to purchase new ice rescue equipment.

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