Higginson's New Fire Truck

By Theresa Komor on 9:41 AM

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"Wanna see the new truck?" Higginson's Fire Chief, Marvin Mathis, could barely contain his excitement. The new tanker truck has his fingerprints all over it. He went to the factory where it was built and knows the truck inside and out.

"Only if I can drive it," said I.  I've always loved learning to drive anything with an engine and wheels.

"OK. Hop up there. Get the bay door open."

Hop wasn't what I did - I climbed. Four huge steps up got me into the driver's seat, looking at a very different dashboard and controls. Ignition on the left, it was an automatic, but had only D, N, and R. Marv said that neutral was park.

With the bay door up, I eased the monster of a truck out of the fire station a whole 30 feet, the length of the truck, to park it in  front. Marvin had a lot to show off, so my adventure didn't end there.

The brushed stainless steel and the size of the equipment itself was mind boggling. The truck came with new air tanks, new everything. The size of the fill hose itself was huge, as is needed to fill the 2,500 gallon tank.

Spigots to shoot pressurized water came out all over the place on that truck. There was even a different place to attach a fill hose when getting water from ponds, creeks or rivers. It held a huge filter right inside the cap that took Marv two hands and quite a bit of oomph to unscrew.

"Oh man," I said, "anything with threads would goof me up." I should've kept my mouth shut because when Marv went to put that cover back on the fill spigot, he didn't do much better than I would lining those threads up.

"When we leave a scene to refill, we have a portable tank we can leave on site while the truck is gone," and Marv proceeded to flip up the latches on the long side of the truck. A huge, hinged door dropped down, and it took two firemen to unfold and set the canvas tank up.

That's Marv back there, facing me. The engineering, the sheer size and the incredible strength of this fire truck and all it's attachments will stick with me for a long time.

I now know more about what is behind fighting fire than I could ever have assumed, and believe me, TV doesn't come close to capturing what really goes on. The protective suits firemen wear are not only hot, but very heavy, and it takes a good deal of physical strength to maneuver while wearing one. Most of the equipment on the trucks take at least two men to use. Even the levers to release water took me two hands and a good leg brace.

I don't remember how much it cost for the tiny town of Higginson to buy this new truck, but after seeing it in action, it doesn't matter. It just isn't a consideration when it comes to saving lives.

4 comments for this post

I love that stuff. Firetrucks and the like are very interesting machines, what with all the doodads and buttons. Makes you feel like your 3 years old again, don't it?

Posted on July 13, 2009 at 1:35 AM  

I agree! The fantasies of children save lives.

Posted on July 14, 2009 at 6:07 AM  

Very cool! I live just outside of Higginson and should my house catch fire they would be the one to come put it out (hopefully!!!) so I'm glad to see this new truck. :)

Great post.

Tisha, the CrAzY Working Mom

Posted on July 15, 2009 at 6:52 PM  

Then I'm not too far away from you, Tisha! That is cool to learn! Marvin and his crew are the best. They do a lot of heavy-duty training, and even other fire depts send their guys to Higginson to train too. Yes, you are in good hands!

Posted on July 15, 2009 at 8:50 PM  

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