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Sundre Fire Department unveils newest custom-built unit

Cost of nearly $1 million was split 50-50 with Mountain View County

SUNDRE – The Sundre Fire Department recently unveiled its latest acquisition – a nearly $1-million custom-built rig.

At a price tag of approximately $980,000, the fire truck’s cost was split 50-50 with Mountain View County.

The fire department took possession of Engine 521 – a custom-built Pierce Saber – in mid-May.   

In a statement posted on the Sundre Fire Rescue Society’s social media announcing the new unit’s arrival, the truck is said to have a capacity of almost 3,800 litres (1,000 gallons) of water as well as about 190 litres (50 gallons) of foam, and is also equipped with some of the latest firefighting technology.

The engine was also reportedly built using a Waterous fire pump said to be capable of delivering more than 4,500 litres (1,200 gallons) of water per minute.

While the public’s comments were largely positive in welcoming the addition, there were also questions regarding why the engine needed to be custom built as well as the fact that at maximum pressure delivery, the water tank would be drained within less than one minute.

The society replied to both queries, and said that due to the individual needs of different fire departments, every fire truck is customized in some fashion.

“When these trucks are ordered, every option is meticulously combed through by the purchasers. We worked very closely with Pierce to select the options that we require to deliver the best service to our residents,” reads the answer in part.

“Cost is a major concern for every fire department, and these builds are approved on multiple levels to ensure that only necessary equipment is selected. Ultimately, we need to stay within the budget that has been approved for each purchase.”

As for the rate of water consumption, it would only be under fairly rare circumstances that the engine would be discharging at maximum pressure.

“When fighting fires, it is crucial to maintain an adequate water source to maintain fire operations,” reads part of the society’s statement.

“Whether that be from hydrants, portable ponds, water tenders, or static water sources. Also, while 1,200 (gallons per minute) is the maximum output of the pump, it would only be special circumstances that require that type of flow rate.”

Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel joined Mountain View Publishing in 2015 after working for the Vulcan Advocate since 2007, and graduated among the top of his class from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's journalism program in 2006.
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