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Farmington's new fire engine should come early in 2013

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Christmas has come and gone, but there's still one really big present coming for the Farmington Fire Department - a new fire truck.

It's not one of those little toy ones, either. By the end of January, Farmington firefighters will have a new, state-of-the-art fire engine, the first engine purchased for the department in more than a decade.

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Construction of the new truck is nearly complete, Farmington fire marshal John Powers said this week. A crew of local firefighters will go to Appleton, Wis., where the truck is being built, the week of Jan. 9, to do a pre-inspection on the vehicle.

"They'll come up with a list of things that still need to be done, or things they'd like to have tweaked," Powers said. "It's kind of like when you buy a building and you want things touched up before you buy it."

After that inspection, the engine will be painted - white and blue, naturally - so it is ready for the next inspection, which is scheduled for the week of Jan. 22. If everything is in order, Powers said, the engine will be delivered.

The fire department hoped to have the truck a little earlier in the month, but the snowstorm that covered much of Wisconsin in deep snow in mid-December caused the plant to shut down for a few days, so the project is a little behind.

Once the new engine arrives, it will be stored at Farmington Fire Station 2, along with one of the two engines currently in use. Firefighters won't be able to take it out right away, though, because they'll need to do some training to become familiar with the engine and its features.

"We'll need to spend a couple of weeks training on it, getting used to it, knowing where everything is, so when we go out to use it, we know how it functions," Powers said. "Each fire engine operates a little differently."

The new engine will feature a compressed air system, which injects an air and foam mixture into the lines. That feature comes in handy when fires where hydrants aren't available, because it makes the available water delivered by the tanker trucks last longer. The new vehicle also has built-in rescue and hydraulic tools.

FFD will continue to use the two engines currently in use until all staff are familiar with the new engine. Powers figures firefighters should be ready to use the new engine by mid-February. After that, one of the older engines will be kept in reserve.

"We're looking forward to it. It's going to be nice. We're going to be able to increase our capability with three engines in two stations. If we have one down or in for service, both sites (stations 1 and 2) are still covered with fire protection," Powers said.

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Michelle Leonard
Michelle Leonard started covering the Farmington community in June, 1994. Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the Farmington American Legion Auxiliary Unit 189, and acts as the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 
(651) 460-6606
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