It’s more than just new, shiny and bright red.
The Ponoka Fire Department took possession of its latest fire truck late last week with a pair of officers travelling to Winnipeg to pick up and drive back the 2016 Fort Garry Freightliner fire engine.
It arrived in town Saturday, May 14 around 10 a.m. with firefighters immediately starting work outfitting the apparatus with all the equipment necessary to have it ready to respond to calls as well as making the needed adjustments in order to have all of it fit properly.
The engine has a 1,000 gallon water tank with pump that can discharge 1,250 gallons per minute and is capable of carrying a crew of six firefighers. The pump also has a foam pro and automated calculation system that makes the unit operation more smooth. The unit also has a master stream monitor mounted on top as well as an easy storage compartment configuration.
Ponoka Fire Chief Jamie Wilkinson explained the unit is part of the planned upgrading of the department’s fleet.
“This apparatus will help the department continue to provide protection to the community and the upgrade with the new technology on the unit will allow firefighters to perform their duties more efficiently,” Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson added the purchase came in about $120,000 under the approved budget of $500,000. Town’s last capital purchase of a fire engine was back in 1993 – an engine that was the department’s main fire truck for the past three weeks. That unit will remain in the fleet to go along with the ladder truck, two squad units and a modified town-owned pickup truck to assist with brush fires.
The new fire truck is also red with a distinctive large Canadian flag displayed on each side. Wilkinson stated the colour along with the decals will make the unit standout and more recognizable to motorists, ensuring they can move over when the unit is heading to calls.