Burlington Fire Department gets $1.2 million support vehicle
Burlington Fire Department gets $1.2 million support vehicle
September 12, 2017
Burlington Post
Article by: Tim Whitnell


Volunteer firefighters to staff state-of-the-art unit

Burlington Fire Department gets $1.2 million support vehicle

Some Burlington firefighters pose in front of the department's newest vehicle, a Support Unit, which was unveiled at the Fairview Street fire headquarters last week. - Photo courtesy Burlington Fire Department

The Burlington Fire Department has a new support vehicle that can respond to spills of hazardous materials and do on-site decontamination.
The support unit (SU) was unveiled to surprised volunteer firefighters at fire headquarters on Fairview Street on Sept. 6.
While it will be utilized by all members of the department, it will be staffed by volunteer firefighters stationed out of headquarters.
“It’s an amazing truck,” said Phil Barry, an acting platoon chief.
He said the 36-foot long vehicle was custom-built by SVI Trucks in Colorado. It cost about $1.2 million, Canadian.
Barry noted the acquisition came to fruition after four years of work by the fire department’s truck committee.
He said that while it can’t fight a fire — it does not have a water tank, pump or hose lines — the support vehicle has many other features.
“It will respond to scenes by the volunteers at Station 1. Then it will be used by management, career and volunteer staff, depending on the nature of the call,” he said.
The Burlington Fire Department has 65 volunteer firefighters.
It replaces the volunteers' 30-year-old vehicle.
It features specialized equipment for hazardous materials response, extra equipment to support firefighters and rehabilitation equipment for large emergency calls.
It also has the technology and specialized spaces and equipment to serve as a command post for large-scale emergencies.
Barry said rehabilitation involves supporting firefighters at a scene with medical monitoring and warming/cooling areas as well as hydration.
The unit’s rehab equipment includes a large inflatable tent for shelter, which has a heater system, as well as cooling chairs and misting fans for heat recovery on hot days at fires and other responses.
In addition, it has a command post area in the cab for the incident commander to operate from at structure fires and other large-scale incidents. There is also a meeting/conference room for large-scale calls that require working with other emergency response agencies.
The SU also will respond to significant hazardous material incidents. It will carry hazardous material response equipment such as hazmat suits and the equipment to perform decontamination.
The truck is outfitted with on-board computers and a phone system. It has an Orion Weather system, which can assist in giving real time weather conditions, and plot an evacuation strategy in case of a hazardous materials release.