The Edmond Sun

Local News

June 21, 2013

Fire Department receives new brushpumper, command vehicle

EDMOND — Thanks to taxpayers, Edmond Fire personnel have two new tools to use — a $42,000 command vehicle and a $75,000, 350-gallon brushpumper.

Friday afternoon, fire officials displayed the vehicles at Station No. 1.

The brushpumper, is outfitted on the chassis of a 2013 Ford F450. Battalion Chief Doug Hall said the Edmond Fire Department brings in a new brushpumper about every eight years, and after that they are kept in reserve. Oklahoma City’s Tactical Vehicle Outfitters submitted the low bid, Hall said.

During last year’s fire season, which will arrive later this summer despite the recent rains, the agency’s brushpumpers took some hits, Hall said. The miles on the vehicles are much harder than civilian miles, he said.

Funds for the brushpumper were included in the city’s budget, Hall said. In-house city work on vehicle maintenance issues helps make efficient use of taxpayer dollars, Hall said. If a hose needs to be replaced it can be done here, he said.

The brushpumper is well-suited size-wise for the terrain in the Edmond area, Hall said.

Edmond’s new command vehicle is a 2013 Chevy Tahoe, which goes on fire calls anywhere within city limits, Fire Chief Jake Rhoades said. Vital firefighting information is sent to a laptop computer in the vehicle.  

Rhoades said the purchases gave the department an opportunity to examine the way it approaches the issue. Input was sought from agency personnel about needs and wants, Rhoades said. Currently the Fire Department apparatus committee is working on the design of a larger fire truck.  

Rhoades said the department is able to obtain top-notch firefighting apparatus thanks to the support it receives from the citizens of Edmond.

WILDFIRE PREPARATION

The fire officials said the recent rains mean more fuel for wildfires during the coming fire season. They urged area residents to take steps now to reduce the risk of fire damage later.

Steps include creating a 30- to 100-foot safety zone around a home. Within this area, residents can take steps to reduce potential exposure to flames and radiant heat.

Other measures include: Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs. Clear all flammable vegetation; remove leaves and rubbish from under structures; thin a 15-foot space between tree crowns, and remove limbs within 15 feet of the ground; prune tree branches and shrubs within 15 feet of a stovepipe or chimney outlet; clear a 10-foot area around propane tanks and the barbecue. Place a screen over the grill — use nonflammable material with mesh no coarser than one-quarter inch.

For more information on how to protect your home from fire damage, visit www.firewise.org.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

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