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City readies new fire engine for use

After its arrival about a month ago, the city’s new fire engine is almost ready to use and is expected to keep firefighters safer as well as allow them to operate more efficiently.

The Boulder City Fire Department recently purchased a new fire engine to replace one that is more than 20 years old. The new one allows the department to operate a clean cab, which keeps firefighters’ equipment out of the fire engine, limiting their exposure to cancer-causing agents. It also holds 50 percent more water and contains better tools.

“The firefighting bunker gear that they

wear to protect them in fires carries carcinogens that are proven to increase the number of firefighter cancers,” said Fire Chief William Gray. “The gear needs to be isolated until we can clean it after fighting a fire. The new engine will allow us to keep the bunker gear and the air packs outside of the engine. … This should help protect our firefighters from unnecessary exposures to the cancer-causing agents.”

The new engine also contains extraction equipment that is lighter and battery-powered, allowing the firefighters to carry it farther and more safely.

“The battery-powered … tools are newer technology that affords the crews all of the benefits of the older equipment with the added benefit of significantly reduced weight,” Gray said. “This allows them to move it to where it is needed quicker and without all of the hoses required by the older systems.”

Gray also said these tools are being used throughout the country and are a “positive upgrade” for the city.

The old engine could hold 500 gallons of water to use for fighting a fire. The new one contains 750 gallons and makes it easier to dispense water.

“The new engine has updated features and includes a larger water tank to allow the crew to put out more fire without attaching to a fire hydrant,” he said. “This is especially valuable with the limited staffing and many remote areas within the city limits.”

Fire Capt. Aaron Fleck said firefighters are hoping the new engine will be in service next week. He and other firefighters are training on the new equipment and making sure it is ready to be used.

Gray said the current engine will be used as a reserve engine and only when the new one is out of service.

According to Communications Manager Lisa LaPlante, the city budgeted and is expected to spend $750,000 for the new engine and its equipment. The money came from the city’s capital improvement fund. Voters approved the expenditure in 2018.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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