New fire engine delivered to Amherst Fire Department

The Amherst Fire Department has taken delivery of a new fire truck.

The $600,000 pumper was delivered to the station on Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, by manufacturer Metalfab Fire Trucks of Centreville N.B.

“It will replace our No. 2 engine, which has been in service since 1995,” Fire Chief Greg Jones said, as a representative of Metalfab put the truck through its paces before a handful of firefighters.

“We still have to install the radio system and transfer equipment from the old truck onto the new one, which we will do on Wednesday evening. We expect it new FF truck 4 Bwill go into service on Thursday (Aug. 20, 2020).”

The old No. 2, which was dedicated in honour of former Fire Chief W.J. (Wally) Hastings, “was a top-quality truck and a workhorse,” Jones said. “In the past 14 years that we have collected statistics, it responded to 567 calls.”

With its 1,000-gallon tank and ability to pump 1,250 gallons per minute, the new No. 2 truck will provide much the same firefighting protection and serve the same protection areas as its 25-year-old predecessor, the fire chief said. However, the new one does have some different features.

For example, traditionally the pump operator manually operated the truck’s mounted pump to meet fire suppression requirements; this new apparatus provides the pump operator with added electronic assistance to optimize output performance. The truck also has a computerized module that allows the operator to run the pumper’s equipment from inside the cab.

In addition, it has several heaters throughout the truck’s body to meet operational temperature requirements during cold-weather operations. The pumper can also safely carry a crew of six firefighters and unlike the old truck they will be able to travel while wearing their air packs.

“In the old truck, the firefighters could place their air packs into the seats, but couldn’t put them on while wearing their seatbelts,” Jones said. “They can now wear their seatbelts while they are wearing their air packs. This enables them to do their equipment prechecks while on the way to the fire, which means they are ready to go into action as soon as they arrive on the scene.”

Like its predecessor, the new No. 2 pumper will respond to calls within and outside the town limits and will be the department’s primary response truck for highway calls, the chief said.

Its setup is also the same as the town’s No. 1 engine, Jones added, which “means we can now operate all our pumpers the same way, which is an added efficiency.”

The new No. 2 engine joins a firefighting fleet that has three pumper units, a tanker unit, a 70-foot aerial ladder truck, rescue unit, hazardous materials unit, command vehicle, Pumper Joe (a miniaturized fire truck used in parades) and a restored antique 1936 pumper truck.