Jake Jakabosky with valuable assistance from Tom McMackin
Fire District 14 has worked to assemble a stable of working rigs to serve our community. The primary goal in planning and acquisition efforts has been the safety of our residents and their property, along with providing the quality fire-response infrastructure to maintain a high insurance rating and keep homeowner’s costs down. Here’s a description of each unit and its special characteristics.
Command 14 (C1400) is Fire Chief Tim Darland’s rapid response vehicle, a 4×4 pickup equipped with emergency lights, siren, and an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). It’s important that an experienced first responder like Tim arrives on the scene of an incident quickly, assumes command, and plans and coordinates the response of other resources as needed.
Aid 14 is our medical aid unit, carrying equipment and supplies for vehicle accidents and medical incidents. It carries oxygen, an AED, and other supplies our medical responders may require. It can carry injured patients to the hospital if local ambulances are away on other calls or maxed out in a multiple-victim incident.
Engine 1411 (E1411), our primary firefighting apparatus, carries 750 gallons of water, an AED, and a system for injecting firefighting foam. There are SCBA’s (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) built into four of the five seats, so firefighters can strap on their air supply while in transit. It also carries the Jaws of Life, ladders, a chain saw with carbide chain for metal cutting (nails, roofing), positive pressure fan, and oxygen and other medical supplies. It has selectable 4-wheel drive and can address both structure fire and wildland fire incidents. It can deploy automatic rear tire chains to quickly react to icy conditions.
Engine 1421 (E1421), our newest engine, is a full-fledged, dedicated structure fire apparatus. It was acquired from the Wishram Fire District last year. Carrying both a portable and a top mounted monitor nozzle, or water cannon, this rig works with a full array of equipment and fittings to adapt to any assignment its crew of five is given. It will be our primary engine in the new Schilling Road Fire Station.
Tenders 1415 and 1425 (T1415 & T1425) supply water to the on-scene engines and equipment during fire operations. Both can fill from hydrants, ponds or other water sources; pump water to fill other apparatus; quickly discharge the entire load into portable tanks they carry for drafting by other engines; and if needed, can deploy hose lines and fight fire with their pump and water supply. Both can “pump and roll,” spraying water while moving.
T1415, a 1977 Oshkosh, weighs in at 64,000 pounds with its heavy military 6X6 truck chassis carrying 4,000 gallons of water. You may have seen its memorable white “fangs” on the front grill and the glaring eyes and toothy scowl on its engine cowl. It is capable of shooting water up to 70’ from a total of six spray nozzles, one on each side plus two each on the front and rear bumpers.
T1425, a 1988 International, came to us from New York in 2013. It carries 2,000 gallons on a heavy military truck frame. This beauty features all-wheel drive and a 500 gpm pump.
Brush 1412 and 1422 (B1412 & B1422). Rounding out our first-line, dedicated firefighting apparatus are our two brush trucks, B1412 and B1422. B1412 is a newer Ford 4×4 carrying 300 gallons, seating for five firefighters, a foam spray unit and spray bars. Brush 1422 is a much older vehicle, a 1983 GMC, designed for a crew of four. Originally acquired from Cal-Fire surplus, it’s considered our district’s wildfire workhorse. Using its direct engine power take-off to pump water from its on-board 500 gallon tank or from a tender, it will push water uphill further than most other apparatus. It was recently outfitted with a foam injection device. Both brush trucks carry a chain saw; firefighting tools; plenty of wildland hose and fittings in order to adapt quickly to the needs of our volunteers.
Last but not least is ol’ 1424, a 1967 Ford 8×8 amphibious military vehicle. Many fire districts with these types of vehicles refer to the units as “Monsters.” Our “Monster” is go-anywhere, anytime with its crew of two, a 1,000 gallon water payload, pump, hose, winch and power to all four axles. It will tackle High Prairie terrain without hesitation.
Fire District 14’s array of vehicles and equipment provides our High Prairie volunteers the tools to cover a wide range of firefighting and emergency response functions, especially when combined for automatic or mutual aid with the full complement of equipment and the skills of the firefighters at Lyle FD #4.
E1421, B1412, and T1425 are all slated to be stationed at the new Shilling Road Fire Station to support the six or more volunteers assigned there. The District is at a minimum staffing level at present, so please consider joining, particularly if you live on the eastern side of High Prairie. It’s inevitable that fires and other emergencies will happen – to you, your neighbor, or someone else. Join with us so you can make a difference when they do.