McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

July 7, 2014

McAlester Fire chief cites inventory

During McAlester Fire Chief Brett Brewer’s 28 years with the McAlester Fire Department, the number of units the department owns and maintains has grown, but a number of those units are of considerable age.

Recalling when he began with the department in June  1986, the chief remembered there

were three ambulances, three engines, a ladder truck and a brush/rescue unit.

Today, his department has four fire engine units plus a complete spare firefighting engine unit. However, none of those units are less than 14 years old, based on a list supplied by the department.

The age of a unit is important. In response to a question regarding the life expectancy of a fire engine, the chief said some departments get 10-to-20 years out of them.

Of the department’s four engines in regular use, the oldest is designated Engine-3, which is more than 20 years old and is a 1991-built unit. Engine 2 is next oldest from 1996, then comes the 1997 Engine 1 and most recent is the 2000 model Engine 4.

The spare firefighting engine unit that is not in regular use dates back nearly 40 years to 1975.

The ladder truck the department uses dates back to 2001.

The 2014 inventory for the fire department has two brush trucks compared to the one combination brush and rescue truck the department had when Brewer started. Both are built on pickup chassis, and one is a 2001 model, the other a 2010.

A large six-figure grant resulted in the department acquiring a fully equipped  HAZMAT trailer, pulled by a 2012 International 4400.

For ambulances, the 2014 department has three in regular operation, ranging in model years from 2001 to 2012, and a spare ambulance that is a 2000 model. All four ambulances are built off of Ford large-engine chassis.

The chief, assistant chief and fire marshal each have a department unit plus there is a support unit. The chief and assistant chief drive Suburbans of 2001 and 1993 vintages, respectively, while the fire marshal and support units all drive 2003 model Ford F150s.

Finally, on the department’s list of vehicles is a 2012 model fire training trailer designated a safety trailer.

Collectively, the inventory totals 17 vehicles with engines and two trailers.

John Yates is a special

correspondent for the McAlester News-Capital.

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