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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

More than a fire truck: DPS adds new vehicle to fleet

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sikeston Department of Public Safety officer James Whitley puts away gear.
SIKESTON -- The latest addition to the Sikeston Department of Public Safety Fire Division's fleet is designed to better respond to today's public safety needs.

The new fire truck, which went into service Thursday, is more than just a new pumper to replace the 1972 pumper as part of the department's regular replacement cycle, according to DPS Director Drew Juden.

"It is a multipurpose vehicle which complements the multifaceted aspects of public safety," said Capt. Jim Hailey, fire division commander for DPS.

In addition to being a 2,000 gallon per minute pumper, this truck was built to respond to the wide variety of emergencies DPS deals with today, according to Hailey.

"It carries rescue tools for vehicle wrecks, trench cave-ins, building collapses, small hazardous material incidents and other types of emergencies," he said.

And as the number of vehicle accidents requiring extrication has increased in recent years, this truck carries Jaws of Life, Hurst cutters and ram bars to assist in the removal of accident victims, according to Hailey.

The air shores and high-pressure and low-pressure air bags it carries, which can lift up to 30,000 pounds each, enable DPS to quickly assist citizens trapped by building and trench collapses. "A lot of it was built with the possibility of an earthquake in mind," Hailey said.

In addition to a 500-gallon water tank and the regular hoses, deck guns, ground monitors and nozzles, it also carries 100 gallons of foam.

Hazardous material mitigation equipment allows the crew to effectively slow down or even halt a hazardous material incident pending the arrival of the hazardous materials team.

"We took delivery of it a week ago Thursday and we have been training daily on it," Hailey said. "It's made two runs already."

Four years ago, the city improved its rating with the Insurance Services Office, which evaluates and rates the fire protection provided by communities on a scale of 1-10. The city's rate then went from 6 to 4. The addition of this multipurpose vehicle will help the city maintain this new rating.

"With the addition of this truck, it will allow us to station our two ladder trucks on either end of the city which will allow for quicker ladder truck response and subsequently better meet ISO and National Fire Protection Association requirements for ladder trucks," Hailey said.