Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue plans to roll a brand new 2014 Rosenbauer fire engine into service this week after it passed rigorous “acceptance” testing and driver training, and was outfitted with a full supply of hoses, ladders, medical gear, rescue equipment and an impressive array of tools.
The new engine, which cost about $550,000, was purchased with cash and without incurring any additional debt to the district’s taxpayers, according to a department news release. It replaces a heavily used 8-year-old engine out of Station 8 in Dillon. That engine will continue to function as a reserve.
“The demands of operating in our high elevation and bad weather — as well as the steep grades in our district — take a heavy toll on our apparatus,” said Chief Dave Parmley in the release. “We are fortunate to have our own top-notch fleet-maintenance department to extend the longevity of our vehicles.
“But at some point, their reliability and capability become limited, and improvements in technology and higher safety standards, plus increased down time, make it necessary for us periodically to upgrade to dependable new equipment.”
The engine is the second in the Lake Dillon Fire fleet manufactured by Rosenbauer Manufacturing and its predecessor, General Fire Apparatus, out of Wyoming, Minn. The department plans to seek bids for a second new engine for delivery in 2015.
The Rosenbauer carries 500 gallons of water and a pump with a 1,500 gallon-per-minute capacity, according to the release. It was designed to the specifications established by the department’s apparatus committee.
The new engine was outfitted with 650 feet of 5-inch hose, 600 feet of 3-inch hose, 200 feet of 2 1/2-inch pre-connected hose, and two 200-foot lengths of 1 3/4-inch pre-connected hose. Additionally, it carries a 14-foot roof ladder, a 10-foot closet ladder and a 24-foot extension ladder, and a full range of heavy vehicle-extrication equipment.
Painted fire-engine red — and yes, possessing that wonderful “new-vehicle” smell — the new engine came equipped with the latest in communication and emergency lighting systems in support of on-scene operations, the release stated.
In addition to the new safety features, Lake Dillon’s firefighters are impressed with its ease of operation, handling, control and power. During its maiden run up to the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel, during driving-acceptance testing without its full stock of equipment, the engine maintained a minimum speed of 56 miles per hour.
Fairly new technology for a vehicle this size, the engine has four-wheel disc brakes, which provide more stopping power than drum brakes, and it has automated drop-down chains and automatic traction control to assist performance in slick conditions, the release stated.
It also has several cameras that allow the engineer to see into blind spots and behind the vehicle, as well as three anchor points on each side for high-angle rope rescues and a light tower for night operations. It even has a bar of rainbow-colored lights on each side that indicate from a distance the water level in the water-supply tank.
The fire engine has a “green star” generator system, exclusive to Rosenbauer brand, that is designed to use less fuel, the release stated. If the crew is not using the pump, the main Cummins diesel motor automatically shuts down and a small diesel generator provides power for the other systems.
“This is a front-line, all-hazards response vehicle, and it will meet the heavy demands posed by our firefighters in responding to vehicle crashes and extrications, medical emergencies, hazardous-materials spills and technical rescues,” Parmley said in the release.