• Long Beach Breeze

Long Beach retires fire truck, new one on the way

By Dom Fimiano

LBFD Truck 5

Long Beach Fire Chief Griff Skellie’s work to purchase a new fire truck to replace Fire Truck 5 has been approved by the Long Beach Mayor and Board of Alderman, who say a new fire engine with the latest technology will be a welcome upgrade to the fleet.

Truck 5 has provided dependable service for approximately twenty-two years. In the interim period, Pumper 3 is being housed at Central Station and will be relocated to another Long Beach fire station when the new engine arrives in 2022, and Truck 5 is being used as a reserve truck.

The purchase of a new fire truck will cost $519,000. Chief Skellie stated the new truck purchase is within the Fire Department’s budget, and all funds will come directly from the Mississippi Insurance Commission Fire Rebate Fund.

The Long Beach Fire Department has contracted with E-ONE for the purchase of the new fire engine. It will take them ten to twelve months to complete the work order and safety test the new truck. The new fire engine will be very similar to Truck 1, a 2013 model located at Central Station. The new fire truck will be fully equipped, carrying about 500 gallons of water, all the necessary tools for fighting a fire, a set of extrication tools, and all necessary medical equipment to keep firefighters safe and anyone requiring assistance on a call.

LBFD Truck 1

“Most trucks hold 500 gallons of water, some a little more, for an initial fire attack,” said Assistant Chief George Byrd. “The first crew is fighting the fire, and the next truck is laying the hose and hooking to the hydrant to supply the first truck with water. Two or three trucks respond with an average of ten to twelve crew on a fire scene.”

The new fire truck will be capable of carrying five firefighters in seats that provide enough room for them to wear head gear with breathing equipment before they arrive to the scene. The pump will be capable of providing up to 1,250 gallons of water per minute. The truck will be equipped with LED lighting as an additional feature to increase safety. Chief Skellie mentioned operator and passenger safety are critical, and this model fire engine rates high when it comes to safety. There are roll-over safety prevention protections, safety belts, and lighted steps to improve firefighters’ safety when responding to calls.

The expected life of the new model of fire engine is twenty-five to thirty years.

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