Santee Fire Department’s fire trucks are going red
The rear view mirrors for Santee residents will start to reflect the color red as in fire engine red on a fire trucks beginning this fall in the event of an emergency call to the Santee Fire Department.
Santee will officially be switching from the color yellow to red on their fire trucks starting with the first fire engine red one to be delivered soon from a plant in Appleton, Wisconsin. Eventually all their vehicles will be red.
Santee Fire Department’s Battalion Chief Tim Stuber, who served as chairperson on the Apparatus Committee, travelled to Pierce Manufacturing Inc. in Appleton on the project that was first presented to him about a year ago.
There were three trips for three different types of inspections of the “apparatus” as Stuber refers to it. The first inspection was for pre-construction and meeting with the engineers according to Stuber. The second inspection is to see if the firetruck is built to specifications and the third inspection is to review the almost completed apparatus and check if the diesel truck is built to expectations.
Stuber said, “This is not necessarily for big things” referring to the final inspection.
Santee Fire Department had switched over to yellow about 50 years ago. The switch back over to red is considered by the Santee Fire department personnel as a rebranding that honors a longstanding worldwide fire service tradition.
Stuber explained that nothing is significantly new. The truck will have modern electronics such as the Panasonic Toughbook. Toughbooks typically include a camera, backlit keyboard, GPS receiver, a broadband and multi touch plus and digitizer LCD that can work with any glove. The Toughbook links into dispatch and gives detailed information on the type of call it is and where it is.
“A black box on the trucks basically records the speed, braking, and the driving style of the driver in the event of an accident. Black boxes are not new or unique,” he said.
Officially the black boxes are vehicle-recording devices.
The six-wheeled fire truck will also have chevrons on the back, and it will take about two to three weeks upon receipt of the vehicle to install loose equipment. It will have the same standard lighting or candlepower lights that Stuber said are very effective at lighting up the way.
“Some people don’t hear or see us although most are usually good. We are trained to create space to get around,” said Stuber.
The fire truck carries 500-gallons of water.
The apparatus, or red fire truck, will be introduced to the Santee City Officials sometime after being fully equipped. The truck will also start showing up at events around the city and become a part of the educational program to introduce to the young and old alike.
A plaque is also placed on the vehicle that has the date of deployment and the Santee Fire Department’s mission statement.