The Invermere Fire Department welcomed the newest member of its team at a regular training session on Tuesday, January 15. The front line fire engine is up from Minnesota and is a 2010 demo model by Pierce Manufacturing, considered a global leader in custom fire truck and fire equipment manufacturing.
“That’s exactly the type of truck we wanted, but in getting the demo we saved $170,000,” said deputy fire chief and training officer Jason Roe.
Because it was a demo, the department was able to buy it at a discounted price — $390,000 instead of $570,000 — and it’s still practically brand new, said Roe. With just a few miles on it, it’s never been on the fire line and the pump has hardly been used.
The pump is one of the truck’s top-of-the-line features. Called the “pump thumper”, it’s a simpler system with less components that is easier to maintain and more user-friendly while also taking up less space and allowing for more cabinet room to store fire fighting equipment.
By law, the Invermere Fire Department is required to have two front line “pumpers” less than 15 years old. Once replaced, a front line pumper can still be used for five more years as a reserve vehicle before it must be retired.
Although the new fire truck was manufactured in 2010, its 15 years of shelf life as a front-line pumper doesn’t begin until it’s put into service at a fire department, said Roe. The department’s other front-line pumper still has another seven years left on it.
The new truck brings the department’s fleet of trucks to a total of five: two front-line pumpers less than 15 years old, one reserve truck (the recently retired front-liner), one rescue truck (the main purpose of which is responding to vehicles therefore it carries the jaws of life and equipment for confined space rescues), one water tender that holds 3,000 gallons of water, and a parade truck.
“We’re required to have the water tender because we have areas that don’t have fire hydrants, so we use it to shuttle water to supply the trucks to fight the fire,” said Rowe.
The newest fire truck also boasts air bag technology and a new type of suspension that allows for better handling.