New Fort Hall Fire Department fire engine.
FORT HALL — The Fort Hall Fire and EMS Department (FHFD) announced the acquisition of four new fire apparatus over the past year.
A fire apparatus, also known as a fire engine, describes any vehicle that has been customized for use during firefighting operations. The new apparatuses are replacing apparatus that is no longer safe to operate.
According to Fire Chief Eric King, it has been a two-year process to acquire funding, determine specifications and build all four apparatus. The goal was to have reliable apparatus that would provide safety for the fire crews and the community. “The old apparatus delayed response times and created an unsafe work environment. They were often out of service due to mechanical reasons,” said King.
Of the four new apparatus includes two 3,000-gallon Water Tenders that has the ability to deliver up to 10,000 gallons of water to a fire incident with a shorter response time. They now can provide a more secure water supply to areas without fire hydrants with a potential of saving more property. It also creates more opportunity for firefighters to search for victims.
In addition, the FHFD received a Heavy Rescue and a 101-foot Aerial Tower, which are both replacing 27-year-old apparatuses. The Aerial Tower has the ability to work on multi-story large buildings like the Casino Hotel and can be used as a typical fire engine. It has a pump that will pump 2,250 gallons a minute. It also has the ability to assist with rescues not only in high areas but up to 22 feet below grade.
The Aerial Tower is designed to make it safer for crews that have to work on roofs with an articulating ladder to place the firefighter within inches of the roof, so they have a solid platform to work from in the event they have to cut a hole in the roof or make a rescue of a victim. It has the ability to be operated by a remote control allowing a firefighter to perform multiple tasks.
King would like to thank the entire FHFD, the Casino Hotel, Tribal Air Quality and the current and past Fort Hall Business Council who supported pursuing different funding sources to purchase the four apparatus to better protect and serve those living on the Fort Hall Reservation.