POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – The Pound Ridge Fire Department is now the proud owner of a new rescue truck that features the latest cutting-edge technology for firefighting and rescue missions.
The department received the $700,000 vehicle last week. It was purchased with tax money raised over the past several years by the Pound Ridge Fire District.
“The district creates an equipment reserve fund and puts a little cash away each year,” Pound Ridge firefighter Lt. Sam Dodge said. “They know that equipment reaches the end of a life cycle – it wears out. It gets to the point where you’re spending too much money to keep repairing it.”
The department’s old rescue truck was on loan from Westchester County as a part of an agreement that called for the Pound Ridge Fire Department to cover a portion of the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
“The county asked us if we would cover an area outside any fire district at the reservation,” Dodge said. “As part of the agreement, they provided us with a truck.” The contract expired this year, and the department must return that truck to the county. The purchase was timed to coincide with the return of the old truck.
“They’ve been planning for it for a long time,” Dodge said.
The new rescue truck features a 250-gallon water tank for small fires. But it also has a bevy of features and equipment designed for rescue operations, such as struts that can be used to stabilize overturned cars.
“[Struts] are tubes that hold the car in place if it is on its side so that we can work on it,” Dodge said.
The vehicle also boasts three generators to provide light and power as well as the newest version of the Jaws of Life. It is more user-friendly and can be put into use much more quickly than the older models, Dodge says. The new truck also has a thermal-imaging camera that helps rescuers find people lost in the woods.
“It also has gas detectors that can detect five different types of gases,” Dodge said. “And it has an inflatable boat with a 10 horsepower engine and paddles.”
The new truck is also equipped with climbing and high-angle rescue equipment, as well as a grip hoist with a hand winch.
“It also has all sorts of EMS and first aid equipment,” Dodge said.
The truck was a good deal for Pound Ridge Fire District residents, Dodge said.
“If you compare our tax rate – it’s one of the lowest around,” he said. “It hasn’t been raised in like 10 years.”
Firefighters have already begun training and learning about the equipment on the new truck, which is known as Rescue 22.
“The manufacturer came and did a complete walk-through,” Dodge said. “We have training here a minimum of twice a month. It’s a fantastic replacement of the older vehicle. It will streamline our rescue operations and save time to help save lives.”