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Station 42 Gets a New Fire Engine

Posted on Dec 29, 2017

The Washington Township Fire Department honored a fire service tradition on Thursday, January 4, when firefighters pushed a new engine into the bay of its assigned fire station. The tradition was part of a brief public ceremony at Station 42, located at 45 W. Whipp Rd.

Pushing a new piece of apparatus into its bay dates back to the mid-1800s when horse drawn wagons had to be backed into their stations, said Fire Chief Bill Gaul. Weighing in at about 21 tons, the new engine is considerably heavier than a wagon, so firefighters got some help from the vehicle’s own engine.

“Major pieces of equipment are always a milestone for fire departments. We use each purchase as an opportunity to incorporate new technology and design that improve the efficiency of our emergency response,” Gaul said. The new Pierce Saber Engine replaces a 17-year-old engine that will be used for backup when one of the department’s five front-line engines is out of service.

The new engine is lighter and more maneuverable than the one it replaces, according to Battalion Chief Ron Kern who chaired a committee of fire and vehicle maintenance staff that developed specifications and oversaw the purchase. LED lights offer improved illumination and eliminate the need to set up a generator. Fire hose can be deployed more quickly because a lower hose bed allows firefighters to reach the hose line from the ground. And a compressed air foam system combines foam (air and soap) with water to create a fire suppressant that adheres better to surfaces and penetrates better than foam or water alone.

“The compressed air foam system puts fires out fast, with less water, which reduces fire and water damage,” Gaul said. The fire department now has three vehicles with CAF systems which are three more times effective than foam alone and five times more effective than water.


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