The Waupaca Area Fire District has purchased a new heavy rescue unit which will begin responding to calls in July.
Built by Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, the truck is 37.5-feet long with a 300 horse-power International engine.
“Everything is state-of-the-art,” according to Waupaca Fire Chief Jeff Olson.
Opening a side door, Olson points out the unit has a built-in incident command center with a drop-down table and radio equipment.
The unit also has a four-tank cascade air system which will allow firefighters to refill their air packs at the scene.
In a front compartment, the truck has pre-connected jaws equipment for removing trapped motorists.
“Normally, we have to hook the equipment up to a hydraulic system and start the motor,” Olson said. “Now, we are ready to go as soon as we arrive at the scene.”
The unit also has a telescoping tower which rises from its roof. The tower has four lights to illuminate the area where the firefighters are working.
Olson said the total cost for the new heavy rescue unit was about $425,000.
It replaces the familiar light yellow rescue unit, which the fire department in Rudolph has agreed to purchase for $45,000.
“It served us well for 18 years,” Olson said.
Olson said the rescue unit is the first fire department vehicle to respond to a serious traffic accident, as well as called out to all emergency situations.
The Waupaca Area Fire District formed a committee, which began research for a new rescue unit in July 2012.
Members of the committee included First Assistant Chief Jerry Deuman, Third Assistant Chief Kim Nelson and firefighters Eric Halverson, Peter Jungers and Jake Waller.
The committee worked with Leslie Niles, a representative with Fire Apparatus and Equipment.
“A lot of thought went into this truck,” Olson said.
After they decided on the unit’s specifications, they placed an order for the truck in November 2012. The new rescue unit was delivered to the fire station on June 1.
The Waupaca Area Fire District serves the city of Waupaca, and the towns of Farmington, Dayton and Waupaca, as well as parts of Lind, Belmont and Lanark.
More than 15,000 area residents are covered by the local department.
The department has 32 volunteer firefighters and 10 vehicles which average 140 calls per year.