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Bradenville’s new fire truck has versatility, battery-operated tools

October 3, 2018
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Bradenville Fire Chief Mark Piantine prepares to climb into the cab of the department’s new attack truck, which can be used in fighting structure fires or brush fires as well as rescuing motorists trapped in wrecks. Piantine displayed the latest addition to his department’s fleet on Oct. 2, 2018, before a Derry Township supervisors meeting.

Bradenville Volunteer Fire Department’s newest vehicle, an “attack” truck, allows for a three-pronged approach to emergency response.

“It will do structural firefighting, it will do brush fires and is also will do rescue work,” said Fire Chief Mark Piantine. “It has the equipment to do all three in that truck.”

Firefighters unveiled the truck, a 2018 Ford F-550, at Tuesday’s Derry Township supervisors meeting. Four men can ride in the truck’s cab, but it’s the right size to fit up a narrow driveway or alley, Piantine said.

“We have a lot of places we can’t get our big trucks in,” he said.

The attack truck can carry 300 gallons of water as well as 30 gallons of foam for dousing woods fires.

It’s expected to go into service within a month, replacing two older units in the department’s fleet - a brush truck and a squad truck.

According to Piantine, purchase of the $324,000 truck was made possible by a $275,000 grant the township obtained from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “They got it through the grant-writers they hire,” he said. “Without the supervisors getting the grant, we never would have got (the truck).”

The department has used another FEMA grant, for $82,000, to equip the new truck with nine tools that can be used to free motorists from wrecked vehicles. Three cutters, three spreaders, two rams and a combination tool are slated to arrive on Friday .

All are battery-operated, with two spare batteries each, and they also can be plugged into an outlet.

The new tools will add to the department’s flexibility.

“We can carry them down an embankment,” Piantine explained, noting older hydraulic rescue tools have a maximum reach of 150 feet from a fire truck.

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