Sublette County purchases new fire engine for Pinedale area

SUBLETTE COUNTY, Wyo. — Sublette County Unified Fire (SCUF) took delivery of a new fire engine last week to replace an aging truck that has been in service in Pinedale since 1998.

The new Pierce Manufacturing fire engine was delivered on June 4, 2020. It features a 1,500-gallon per minute pump, 1,000-gallon water tank, hydrostatic four-wheel drive, and a full complement of emergency tools and equipment. The new engine also includes the latest safety features including anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and passenger compartment airbags to protect firefighters the event of a side rollover or frontal impact collision.

The SCUF capital improvement plan identified the need to replace the old engine based on age, mileage, frequency of use, maintenance costs, safety considerations, and resale value. Since the old engine was originally built, significant improvements have been made in upgrading functional capabilities and safety features of modern fire apparatus.

The new fire engine was purchased for $769,083, using a 50/50 grant from the Wyoming State Loan Investment Board – Mineral Royalty Grant. The $360,000 grant was awarded to Sublette County Unified Fire to support the demonstrated need of the fire department to modernize and replace aging fire apparatus in the fleet.

“We are extremely grateful to the Sublette County Board of County Commissioners and to the Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board for their support of this much needed new fire engine,” Fire Chief Shad Cooper stated. “With the support of the SLIB Grant, we were able to purchase a new engine with enhanced safety features to help protect our volunteer firefighters. The engine also features increased pump capacity and additional design features meant to enhance the capabilities of our organization and improve our ability to provide public fire protection throughout the county.”.

The fire engine is the culmination of more than two-years of planning. The new fire engine was designed to respond to structure fires using water from municipal fire hydrants, but it is also setup for water supply operations to fight fires in rural areas of the county as well.

“We are excited to begin training and start using the new engine soon. Pierce will provide in-depth training over the next several days for our volunteer firefighters to become familiar with operating the new fire engine,” Cooper added.

Firefighters held a roll-back ceremony to inaugurate the new fire engine. A roll-back ceremony is a firefighting tradition recalling days when steam engines were pulled by horses and could not easily be backed into a fire station.

In some places, the tradition called for the water from the old engine to be transferred to the new engine, which led to spillage. This required the new engine to be wiped down and cleaned afterwards. Today, new fire engines are hosed down with water, symbolizing the transfer of duty and responsibility.  Afterwards, the firefighters roll the engine back into the bay at the fire station.

This tradition allows the firefighters to commemorate the responsibility of the new engine to protect the community it will serve.

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