Tanker improves West Perth Fire Department fleet
West Perth Fire Department received an early Christmas present when a 2019 tanker arrived to bolster their fleet Dec. 19. Posing with the new 32-foot long, 11-foot high truck were Station Chief Jim Tubb (left), Deputy Station Chief Ken Monden, Mayor Walter McKenzie and Fire Chief Bill Hunter. The cost of the new tanker was $466,150. ANDY BADER/MITCHELL ADVOCATE
Like kids at Christmas, the long-awaited arrival of a new $466,000 tanker truck couldn’t come soon enough for the West Perth Fire Department.
The 2019 Freightliner cab and chassis, actually built in South Dakota, was delivered Dec. 19 a few weeks later than originally hoped. Later that day, most of the firefighters took a short spin driving it, said West Perth Fire chief Bill Hunter, a chance to get somewhat familiar with the 32-foot long, 11-feet high vehicle.
The truck has a 400 hp Cummins engine and has a 3000 U.S. gallon tank, a 500 gallon per minute pump (25-times faster than the old tanker) and dual porta-tanks. The truck’s body frame is steel and has been hot dip galvanized for corrosion protection. It also has a remote controlled bumper mounted monitor as well as a 200-foot “attack” house in the front bumper.
The price was $466,150, purchased from ResQTech in Woodstock, with West Perth council phasing the cost in over two fiscal periods plus using some capital reserves. It was part of a three-truck tanker tender with Perth East that resulted in a multi-vehicle discount, Chief Hunter noted.
It also has top-of-the-line safety features, including three back-up cameras and a 123 decibel siren. (A jet engine has a recorded decibel level of 84).
If the siren’s activated, you’ll be able to hear them coming, in other words.
More training is required before it’s actually put to use, Chief Hunter said, and it replaces an old tanker, purchased in 1997, which will eventually be sold.
“Just like a good insurance policy, you hope you never need to use it,” Chief Hunter said, “but you’ve got the best if you do.”