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