BY BRAD QUARIN
LOCAL JOURNALISM INITIATIVE
TOWN & COUNTRY NEWS
Four years of effort came to fruition as the Wembley Fire Department put its new fire truck, Engine 611, into service last Thursday.
Wembley firefighters loaded their equipment into the new truck and pushed it into the bay before taking it on its first tour around town last week.
“Engine 611 is going to be a great asset for the department, and something that’s going to bring a lot of pride to the community,” said Wembley fire chief Matthew Smith.
“It’s been a long time coming, and the guys are quite excited to have it.”
The fire truck was provided for under Wembley’s budget, approved in May.
At $710,00, the engine made up the majority of the capital budget, which totals “just a little under” $1 million, said Noreen Zhang, Wembley’s chief administrative officer.
Zhang told the News in June administration recognized the department’s old truck had “reached its end-of-life cycle” and the new engine was necessary.
Smith said Engine 611 replaces the department’s 2003 Superior fire engine, and the department had been working toward the switch for four years.
The department formed a committee to consider the fire service needs of the community and then to customize a multi-purpose engine, he said.
Engine 611 is an E-One Typhoon - both a pumper and a rescue - and can also replace the department’s 15-year-old rescue unit when it’s retired, Smith said.
Starting with the generic E-One Typhoon, he said Engine 611 was customized regarding details such as how much seating the department wanted.
Smith said Engine 611 is an improvement over the 2003 Superior because it has a bigger pump and can hold more water and equipment.
Engine 611 also seats seven, as opposed to the 2003 Superior which only seated two, he added.
The truck was built over the past year and a half by the E-One company in Florida, he said.
With the arrival of Engine 611, the department now has this new engine, the rescue unit and another engine owned by the County of Grande Prairie and used for contracted work in the county, he noted.
The 2003 Superior engine has already been sold to a company in British Columbia, with Smith saying the $50,000 from the sale went to new equipment for Engine 611.
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