JOLIET – The East Joliet Fire Protection District showed off its newest big piece of equipment Sunday, a Ferrara Cinder MVP Rescue Pumper vehicle.
The unique thing about this new vehicle is that it functions as a two-in-one with the combined capabilities of a squad truck, which firefighters use for specialized rescue jobs, and as an engine, the type of vehicle typically used to fight fires. The vehicle will have equipment to rescue, such as during an extrication, and equipment to put out fires, which would usually be in two separate vehicles.
“It’s a convenience for us doing our jobs,” said East Joliet Fire Chief Robet Scholtes. “Because when guys go out with this vehicle, they have everything with them.”
Scholtes said the idea came about three years ago after the department sold off an engine and wanted to develop a new vehicle with dual capabilities. He said that he asked some of his firefighters to form a committee, and they spent about a year drawing up designs for the vehicle and were able to suggest what features they thought it should have.
A.E.C. Fire and Safety, a company that specializes in manufacturing fire safety vehicles, came in as the lowest bidder to make it. The department put in the order in October and it was delivered Saturday.
The Rescue/Pumper cost about $685,000, which Scholtes said was a little more than would cost for the two separate vehicles, but it will ultimately help the firefighters have everything they need to do their jobs when they respond to emergency situations.
“I’m very excited about it,” Scholtes said. “I think it will serve our district for many years to come.”
The East Joliet Fire Protection District began in 1940 as a volunteer department to cover the unincorporated areas of Joliet Township.