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FFD's new engine/rescue truck has many features

A new ladder rack on the truck raises and lowers to make access to the ladders easier.2 / 2

The Farmington Fire Department's newest engine finally arrived last week, after a long journey through the snow from the Pierce Manufacturing plant in Appleton, Wis. It's not in service just yet, but firefighters expect to have it in use later this month.

The reason Engine 22 isn't being used yet is because there are so many new features on the truck, firefighters have to go through a few training sessions just to get familiar with the new rig.

Engine 22 is the first truck purchased for the Farmington Fire Department in over a decade.

From front to back, the new truck is full of nooks and crannies. Doors of varying sizes open to reveal hose storage, air bottle storage, a port for hydraulic tools, a storage cabinet for fire tools and another for rescue tools.

"We tried to maximize space as much as possible," Fischer said. "When we started building this truck, it was replacing a straight rescue truck and it was adding an engine to our fleet, so we had to add a lot of equipment to this truck to make it fit our purpose, and we really took a lot of time in planning this truck to make it fit the city's needs for 20 years in the future."

Five of the six seats inside the cab - excluding only the driver's seat - have air tank packs built into the seats. Firefighters can slip on the air packs while in their seats. The packs lock in place to serve as seatbelts, then release when the truck comes to a stop, allowing firefighters to get out of the truck with their air packs already in place.

Six headsets hang inside the cab.

"That's a first for us. We got headsets that all of the occupants can put on. It's for hearing protection and then it's got a lot better communication for us between the driver, the officer and the firefighters in the back. They actually hear what's going on, they can hear dispatch, they can hear what the first arriving officer is saying they need, so it just makes for that much better communication," Fischer said.

The driver's side of the truck is dedicated to storage and operation for fire scenes, while the passenger side is used for rescue situations. The hydraulic tools used for extrications are new, and have stronger cutting force than what Farmington rescue crews have used in the past. New pumps have been built in on the rescue side to supply the air needed for those tools.

ISO ratings

Aside from all of its new features, Engine 22 brings an added bonus to Farmington businesses, in the form of possible insurance savings.

According to Farmington fire marshal John Powers, a report by the Insurance Service Office two years ago indicated Farmington was below its recommended average in pumping capacity.

The ISO issues what are known as ISO ratings for cities. While insurance risks are assessed on several levels for any given business, ISO ratings often play a part in how much businesses are charged for their fire coverage.

Pumping capacity is based off of the overall gallons per minute of trucks in a fire department. The addition of the new 2,000 GPM on Engine 22 helps Farmington bring its pump capacity to the recommended average, Powers said.

"This truck will address that and apply to our rating, possibly lowering the insurance rates for businesses in our city," he said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  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 American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also 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. 

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