Tuesday, November 24, 2020

New Fire Truck for Marco Island

A new fire truck was dedicated in a ceremony steeped with all the customary traditions.

A new fire truck was dedicated in a ceremony steeped with all the customary traditions.

The call came in as I was talking to Fire Chief Mike Murphy and Deputy Chief Chris Byrne about the new pumper truck to be dedicated at 4 p.m. on September 7 at the fire house. (“Fire reported at commercial building at ___ Collier Boulevard,” announced the voice of the radio dispatcher). We broke off our conversation and hustled out to the “garage” to see the firefighters in action. In less than a minute, the new truck with its three-member crew was on its way. That was a typical example of the devotion, vigilance and efficiency of Marco Island’s fire department.

What’s so riveting about a new fire truck anyway? Is it simply interesting because many small kids remain entranced by firefighters, even

The truck took almost two years from design to delivery.

The truck took almost two years from design to delivery.

though they grow up to be accountants, hoteliers, doctors, mechanics and – heaven help us – lawyers? Nope. It’s because advancements in technology and methodology save more and more lives and property.

Marco’s new pumper is not a cookie-cutter machine. It was designed with the needs of islanders and visitors in mind. Our own fire department played a major role in tailoring the new vehicle to protect a residential, resort, and marine community. Thus, it’s equipped with a newly designed, more efficient pump that saves space and provides maximum pumping ability. There are state-of-the-art communications linked to central dispatch in order to move equipment to an emergency site within a very few minutes. A computerized map guides the commander to a scene in

The truck was splashed down, then blessed and was pushed into its bay by area residents, member’s of the Fire Rescue Foundation and City Hall.

The truck was splashed down, then blessed and was pushed into its bay by area residents, member’s of the Fire Rescue Foundation and City Hall.

the fastest way. Seconds often mean lives. There’s also hazardous material, medical, and unique marine firefighting equipment to meet the island’s needs. The vehicle even has phones for boat communications, booms for spills, and ladders for the upper floors of newer, larger homes.  It’s not a Ferrari. Everything on it is for a specific safety purpose, including for crew protection.

The cost? About $550,000, spread over a service life of about 15 years. In taxpayer terms, it’s a bargain. The portion of the annual tax bill is about as minimal as it can get, particularly in view of the long service life.

Next time you see that shiny aluminum body heading somewhere in a hurry you might be seeing a life in the process of being saved.

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