One of the most important trucks we will ever need is a fire truck. Though the closest some of us will ever get is waving to the fireman perched atop a fire truck at a parade, or pulling off the road to make way for a siren blaring fire truck en route to an emergency. I think we can all agree on the necessity of fire trucks, but have you ever given much thought to what actually goes into a fire truck?
Recent changes in technology have changed the features and methods of firefighting equipment, and in the past couple of weeks, numerous cities have announced a transition to more advanced vehicles. First up, Indianapolis is transitioning to electric and hybrid vehicles, and they're hoping to buy new compressed natural gas run fire trucks. The city hopes to complete its transition by 2025, so there is still time to perfect the technology.
San Diego also recently purchased new hybrid fire trucks, but rather than using multiple energy sources, it is considered a “hybrid” because it combines capabilities. The new trucks are aptly called quint fire trucks, because they provide pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial, and ground ladder duties. These trucks combine many of the duties of fire trucks and fire engines into a single vehicle. It can fight fires as well as rescue and care for trapped citizens. In the past, San Diego fire department has had problems with fire trucks arriving before fire engines, which leaves fire fighters unable to begin rescue efforts, because only engines are equipped with water.
Recently, Grand Rapids also upgraded some of their fire trucks to a hybrid/dual-purpose model. In this case, the vehicles are on a much smaller scale and they are intended to combine fire fighting technology with medical response equipment. These new vehicles will allow a single vehicle to deal with smaller fires, such as a car fire, using either water or foam to put out the fire as well as attend to the driver or passenger’s medical needs.