New fire truck arrives

Fire Chief Ross Potter stands next to the new pumper truck at the Hay River Fire Department.

Fire Chief Ross Potter stands next to the new pumper truck at the Hay River Fire Department.

The Hay River Fire Department has itself a brand-new pumper truck.

The truck – with a price tag of $438,961 – arrived on Dec. 11 and was expected to be ready for operation this past weekend.

The last new pumper for the department was in 2004, said Fire Chief Ross Potter.

“This is a long time in between trucks,” he said. “The truck it’s replacing is 34 years old.”

The new vehicle – built by Fort Garry Fire Trucks in Winnipeg – has all the most modern technology.

In particular, Potter pointed out it has the compressed air foam system (CAFS), which he said is much better than regular foam and helps put out fires a lot faster.

“It still uses the same foam as what we used to use, except it injects air,” he explained. “So you end up with bigger bubbles and better expansion of the foam.”

Potter said the system also makes hoses lighter for firefighters to carry because air is introduced into the mixture of water and foam.

The fire chief also said the new truck has all the safety equipment, like warnings if seatbelts are not buckled up and door alarms.

The new truck can pump 1,050 gallons per minute.

Potter said the new vehicle will mean better service for the community and more safety for firefighters.

Mayor Brad Mapes welcomes the new fire truck.

“We need to keep our equipment up to snuff,” he said.

The old truck being replaced was built in 1982.

“It was a good pumper,” said Potter. “Our equipment is really well maintained. We have high standards for preventative maintenance.”

However, the old truck doesn’t meet National Fire Prevention Association standards, and was being used as a third-line piece of equipment for wildfires or dump fires.

It will go up for auction as surplus equipment according to the town’s purchasing bylaw.