Firefighting in Colchester moves into the 21st century
The Colchester Fire Department is excited to announce the delivery of the newest addition to their fleet. The 2010 engine tanker was manufactured by Spartan/Marion Fire Apparatus out of Wisconsin, and will be housed at the Company 2 firehouse in Westchester. It replaces a 1982 American LaFrance engine tanker, which the department plans to re-designate as a reserve apparatus.
The new engine tanker carries one thousand gallons of water, and has the capability of pumping two thousand gallons of water per minute. It is also equipped with one of the latest advancements in firefighting technology, a Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS). While firefighters have traditionally used only water to fight fires, mixing foam into their hose lines allows for better penetration into the fire and hidden areas, reducing the overall amount of water needed to bring fires under control, and allowing for fires to be extinguished quicker. Additional benefits include a decreased chance of firefighter exhaustion or injury, as hoses will be lighter during the utilization of the CAFS system. The foam absorbs the heat more efficiently, causing temperatures to drop quicker and reduces the likelihood of flashover
or rapid-fire development which could trap or injure firefighters. This feature is crucial to the Westchester area of town, as there are no pressurized hydrants in that area of Colchester, and it takes a considerable amount of time for additional resources to travel out to that area of town. Firefighters must rely on water sources such as ponds and rivers for additional water, so with the introduction of the CAFS system, firefighters will be able to do more with a limited amount of water. Less time on the fire ground means less exposure of personnel to the possibility of injury.
However, the new foam system is not the only new technology featured on the new truck. A state of the art rollover protection and full cab airbag system will add the highest possible amount of crash protection for firefighters.
CHFD members will begin training on the new engine tanker during the next few weeks, and placing it into service shortly thereafter. The new truck will help bring the Town of Colchester into the 21st century of firefighting. It will help us continue to protect the lives and property of the citizens of Colchester utilizing the best, and most technologically advanced equipment possible.