Newton Fire Department acquires new fire truck

By: 
Cindy Hull
Staff Writer

During the city council meeting on Tuesday evening, Fire Chief Kevin Yoder spoke about the new fire engine that has now been completed. Three years ago was the beginning of the new truck. After much talk about the requirements for a new fire truck, a committee was created.

The original group consisted of  Caleb Huffman - Battalion Cheif, Brain Whitner - Deputy Fire Cheif, Scott Mecimore - Fire Marshal, along with Tyler Keener and Bradley Long.

The first thing the committee worked on was the specification process, making sure they included everything that would be needed if called to a heavy rescue, including the light tower on top of the truck.

Before getting bids to start building, Newton City Manager Todd Clark worked with Catawba County Manager Mick Berry on a financing agreement. Chief Yoder said “They (Catawba County) are loaning the money to the city, on an interest-free loan, and granting 25% of the original cost to the city, so we will end up paying $675,000 for a $900,000 project that, with interest, would have cost over a million dollars over a 15 year period”.

Yoder said, “It is a true heavy rescue truck, and equipped with numerous items. It can be used if a large vehicle or a tractor-trailer is down an embankment or a ravine”.

The new fire truck’s chassis was built in Springfield Ohio, then transferred to Erie Pennsylvania, where the body was completed. Once finished, Huffman and Whitner took turns driving it back to Newton from Pennsylvania.

The last truck that the fire department received was donated by Blue Ridge Distribution in 1999 and was a mid 80’s beverage truck. The fire department and the public works department worked to refurbish the truck and had roughly $10,000 to $15,000 in it.

Some of the major specifications of the new engine are:
•            All equipment necessary to meet the North Carolina Rescue Association standard for heavy rescue

•            All equipment necessary to meet the North Carolina Rescue Association standard for confined space rescue

•            All equipment necessary to meet the North Carolina Rescue Association standard for trench rescue

•            All equipment necessary to meet the North Carolina Rescue Association standard for agricultural rescue

•            All equipment necessary to meet the North Carolina Rescue Association standard for high angle rescue

•            All equipment necessary for large vehicle extrication

•            Onboard air system for air bottle filling, airbag inflation, and operation of air tools

•            Onboard electrical power system for lighting, electrical extrication tools (30 KW generator)

•            Carries fire protection equipment

•            Meets North Carolina Department of Insurance requirements for service/rescue unit response

•            Water rescue capabilities

•            Scene lighting capabilities with a 9,000 watt light tower

•            Plasma and acetylene cutting equipment for heavy industrial equipment extrication

•            Seating for four people

•            Anchor points and stabilization equipment for large vehicle rescue

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