The new 2013 Pierce Pumper Truck is capable of pumping out 1,250 gallons of water per minute just like the fire department’s old 1990 FMC model.
The big difference with the new model is it has foam-spraying capabilities with a 250-gallon foam tank, according to Three Rivers Fire Department Chief Bobby Joe Stewart. Thirty-year veteran of the Three Rivers Fire Department Steve Brosig said foam spraying is better than using water since it soaks right into the burning structure instead of splashing off.
The new truck also has more computer-controlled equipment that monitors spray output unlike the old truck’s manual equipment.
Texas law requires fire engines be retired after 21 years, then they can be placed on reserve for two years before getting completely replaced according to Brosig.
The new truck cost the city about $331,000, not counting equipment. Brusig estimated it will cost closer to $400,000 once all the extra equipment is added over the next several years.
Brusig said this engine is designed for wooden structure fires; and the oil refinery has its own that can pump 8,000 gallons per minute. He also said the truck won’t be allowed to leave city limits for insurance reasons.
Stewart said the firemen will practice driving the new truck and then have training sessions on how to use it.
The entire truck is decorated with 100-year logos because Pierce Manufacturing is also celebrating its 100th year.