Rugby Fire receives new rescue unit
Out with the the 1987 model and in with the 2013. Rugby firefighters finally have a new rescue unit.
About 25 eager firefighters gathered in Jayme Berube’s shop on Monday to receive the new $160,000 vehicle, which was custom built near Montreal and fitted with an oxygen cascade unit in Volga, S.D.
“We’re very pleased because this is four-wheel drive capability,” said Chuck Teigen, Rugby Rural Fire Department Board secretary and treasurer. “Before we were really limited in anything off road. In inclement weather, we could not take this other rescue unit out on the road with any degree of safety. This is such a benefit for the community. Plus, our firemen are all volunteers – it’s for their safety also. The four-door cab will enable five firemen to arrive at one time in the truck. This (old one) was two people.”
Other highlights with the new vehicle include accessibility. The previous vehicle only opened in the back. The new vehicle has shelves that pull out on both sides and allow firefighters to reach all tool without needing to climb into the compartments. Exterior lighting illuminates the ground on all sides of the truck and ultra-bright lights can be mounted to illuminate the area.
“This is gonna be a good unit for us,” Rugby Fire Chief David Schneibel Jr. said. “We’ve been working on it for a couple years. We should be able to get all our equipment in here.”
A new Jaws of Life tool is also replacing an outdated model, which can’t tear apart the stronger steel of today’s vehicles.
Assistant Chief Darin Williams was one of four firefighters who traveled to Pierreville, Quebec, to see the truck being built by C.E.T. Fire Pumps MFG. He said the experience was unbelievable because of the pride shown by the engineers.
“I don’t know if any of ’em are firemen, but it seemed like they were a member of the firehouse,” Williams said. “They were like one of the firemen. Anything we wanted or requested – nothing was unreasonable with ’em. They never hesitated with any request that we had.”
The vehicle was purchased by Rugby Rural Fire, but will service the city too.
“Just estimating, I would say 90 percent or more of the calls where this is used are not within the city limits,” Teigen said, “so, we felt as a board, it was only fair that rural would provide the new rescue squad, and especially since the city is in the major fundraising for the new fire hall.”?Teigen said the city is a 50 percent owner of the former rescue unit.
“I’m assuming that it’ll be liquidated and hopefully for the use of some other smaller fire department, one with less area to cover,” he said.
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