Herald-Whig

QFD breaks in new fire trucks

Firefighters Jerry Mast and Trent Wort open up the back compartment of a new pumper engine at Station 5 on Thursday, Jul. 11, 2019. The Quincy Fire Department received two new pumper trucks, which hold 250 more gallons than the old trucks. The trucks will be housed at Fire Stations 4 and 5. | H-W Photo/Katelyn Metzger
Katelyn Metzger 1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 12, 2019 12:01 am

QUINCY -- Two new pumper trucks entered service with the Quincy Fire Department this week. The new trucks, which cost nearly $1 million, are based at Fire Station 4 at 1115 Locust and Fire Station 5 at 1130 Jackson.

Quincy Fire Chief Joe Henning said besides reliability, more safety features are noticeable on the new trucks.

"For example, they have blind spot cameras, backing cameras to avoid any type of collisions while responding," Henning said.

The trucks feature LED lighting in all their compartments and have 750-gallon water tanks, where the rest of the department's trucks can only hold 500 gallons.

Henning said both stations occasionally respond as part of an automatic mutual aid agreement with the Tri-Township Fire Department.

"So this gives us more water to fight fires until Tri-Township gets there," Henning said.

"It also has a hard cover for the hose bed, which we never had before; we just had tarps," Henning said. "It's actually a walking service if it needs to be, but it definitely better protects our equipment as well."

He believes they also are designed better for firefighters.

"Trucks have been getting bigger and bigger, and hose beds have been getting higher and higher, which makes it harder to load them," Henning said. "We were able to re-design these trucks and bring the hose bed levels back down significantly, which makes them safer to load."

The city bought the two pumper trucks for $988,650, with $624,200 from the apparatus replacement fund, which generates money from the state after it took over fire protection responsibilities for the Illinois Veterans Home, and borrowed $337,700 from the city's reserve fund.

Originally, the department sought to replace one truck to start a truck replacement schedule of every three or four years, but Henning said upon starting the process, they discovered the ability to obtain multi-unit and prepay discount.

The two trucks replaced older trucks -- one 18 years old and the other 22 -- that are now in the department's reserve fleet. Two 32-year-old open-cab trucks in the reserve fleet will be retired.

They are the first fire apparatus to enter service in Quincy since 2010, when a new quint truck, which serves as a combined pumper and aerial truck, and rescue pumper were dedicated.

With the two new trucks, everything in front-line service is about 13 years old or newer.

"We're in pretty good shape, but we will definitely have to be looking down the road at our aerial platform truck, which is a reserve truck," Henning said. "It's getting up there in age where we're going to have to decide what to do with it eventually."

Besides two new fire trucks in the last year, the department acquired new breathing apparatuses and exhaust removal systems through grant funding.