Mayor John Hamilton and Bloomington Fire Department (BFD) firefighters held a push-in ceremony Thursday, April 1 at 5 p.m. at Station Two (209 South Fairfield Drive) to dedicate the City’s newest fire apparatus. The 2021 Typhoon class, 100-foot aerial ladder truck that will be known as Truck 2 was purchased through Public Safety Local Income Tax (PS-LIT) revenues for $1.19 million to replace a 20-year-old 75-foot dual axle aerial apparatus.
The fifth fire apparatus purchased and delivered since the adoption of the PS-LIT in 2016, Truck 2 brings the BFD’s front line into compliance with the National Fire Protection Association standards. (In addition to its front line, the BFD’s reserve fleet--which includes two fire engines, one stick ladder, and one platform ladder truck--also meets the NFPA standards.) 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. Since 2016, BFD has achieved a three-minute reduction in response time to an emergency. During that period, BFD has saved ten lives from fire incidents and one from a vehicle.
“Our community supports our fire department, who support and protect us 24/7,” said Mayor Hamilton. “These big red trucks and the professionals who operate them save lives, and our community, since the 2016 PS-LIT, has been able to replace aging apparatus on a regular schedule, to ensure the efficient and safe working conditions we all want. Thanks to the City Council and the community for your ongoing support.”
Truck 2 is equipped with a 500-gallon water tank, a 1500-gallons-per-minute pump, and a 100-foot ladder with a Task Force Tips (TFT) masterstream nozzle at the ladder’s tip that can be controlled from either end of the ladder. The apparatus also has seven ladders of varying designs, functions and heights, and a full complement of TNT brand hydraulic-powered extrication tools, fire fighting tools, water supply hose, and preconnected fire fighting hose lays. The single-axle vehicle is designed to navigate narrow streets and tight turns better than the dual-axle apparatus it replaced. The BFD will maintain its four-firefighter minimum staffing requirements on this apparatus, which has a six-person capacity.
“Today our department officially turned the page on a chapter of our history that included using outdated and in some cases unsafe equipment,” said Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moore. “Replacing the entire front-line fleet within four years is a landmark achievement considering we have 25-year veterans of the department who had never operated a new apparatus during their tenure. With the support of our taxpayers, City Council, and Mayor Hamilton, our department has a great foundation for continued success."
A push-in ceremony is a firefighter tradition for inaugurating 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. Normally open to the public, Thursday’s outdoor ceremony was a physically distanced event with attendance limited to fire personnel, the Mayor, and his staff, in keeping with current public health guidelines. Truck 2 will be garaged at Station 2 and serve all of Bloomington.
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