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Local fire departments are enjoying the benefits of new additions to their fleet; part of a collaboration intended to cut costs, and increase the safety of citizens and firefighters.
During a public viewing Friday, the fire departments for the City of Springfield, Republic, and the Nixa Fire Protection District showcased seven recently purchased fire engines totaling $2.5 million. Since each entity was in the market for a new engine; rather than three smaller orders, one large purchase proved to save everyone money, says Duane Compton, City of Republic fire chief.
“Basically all seven of [the] trucks are almost identical. Same body, same chassis, same engine, same transmission, and built from the same manufacturer. And that equated to about a $30,000 per apparatus savings,” Compton said.
David Pennington is the assistant fire chief for Springfield, which purchased four the seven trucks as part of the collaboration. He says each truck is equipped with the CAFS system, or Compressed Air Foam, what he calls “smart water,” which uses less water and allows for a quicker way to extinguish fire, therefore a shorter time on scene. It’s already been used on dozens of house fires.
“It’s safer for the fire crews as they’re going in. The foam itself absorbs the heat as they’re making their way to see the fire. They’re able to get quicker knock-down times; which decreases the threat to my personnel, but also, if someone’s trapped, it mitigates that threat and gives us the opportunity for rescue much quicker,” Pennington said.
Excluding brush trucks, Springfield now has 16 frontline apparatus, which includes engines, ladders and rescues. The purchases for Springfield also serve part of the city’s effort to phase out its yellow fleet, and move to the traditional red engine.