(BLOOMINGTON) – Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton and Bloomington Fire Department (BFD) firefighters invite community members to a public push-in ceremony celebrating the arrival of the City’s newest fire apparatus, Friday, June 21, 2019 at 9 a.m. at Station 1, 300 East Fourth Street. The event will include refreshments and tours of the new vehicle, an aerial apparatus that will be known as Truck 1.
Those attending the event will have the opportunity to help push Truck 1 into the firebay for the first time. A push-in ceremony is a firefighter tradition to inaugurate a new apparatus. The tradition recalls the days before motorized fire apparatus, when garaging a hand-drawn hose cart or a horse-drawn steam engine in the firehouse required a hands-on approach.
The new aerial apparatus will be used across Bloomington and on the Indiana University campus, the location of the majority of buildings that will benefit from a 100-foot ladder platform. In addition to providing the capability for rescues from heights unreachable by ground ladders, an aerial apparatus can provide horizontal reach when road access is limited and an elevated water stream for major fires. As the first aerial apparatus designed to fit the department’s mission, new Truck 1 will add the capability of filling air cylinders used by firefighters to enter burning buildings and advanced rescue tools including a full complement of vehicle extrication equipment.
“We appreciate Indiana University in partnering with the City for this critical investment,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “The role of updated equipment and enhanced training and prevention efforts in providing top-quality fire protection can not be overstated.”
The new aerial apparatus is a 2019 E-One Typhoon Custom 100 Foot Platform, with a 600 horsepower engine, 1500 gallon-per-minute pump, a 500 gallon water tank, and a single 1500 GPM monitor on the platform. This is the third fire apparatus the department has purchased in three years in order to replace aging apparatus and standardize the fleet for increased efficiency. The new vehicle was purchased for $1,179,080 with funds from the Public Safety Local Income Tax (PS-LIT), to be reimbursed over three years with a $1 million contribution from IU. The PS-LIT has been the revenue source for all the fire department’s major capital improvements, including new fire gear (Personal Protective Equipment or PPE), airpacks, vehicles, extrication tools, and fire station improvements and updates.
“Our department welcomes this critical piece of equipment that will improve the safety of our residents and firefighters,” said Fire Chief Jason Moore. “Beyond our personnel and the construction of a new fire station, this is the single largest investment in public safety that our organization can make — an investment that is only possible with the support of our residents, mayor, and council.”
Truck 1 replaces a 2007 Ferrera aerial platform truck, which will be maintained as the fire department’s first reserve aerial. This will provide the city with the same level of service when either of the two aerials serving the City is out of service for repair or preventive maintenance. Previously the City was either not protected by an aerial platform or had to borrow or rent one from another city when the truck was out of service for repair.
Since 2016 BFD has achieved a three-minute reduction in response time to an emergency. During that period, BFD has been credited with saving seven lives from fire incidents and one from a vehicle accident.