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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

Vermilion Fire Department ReceivesBrand New Fire Truck

From left, Rocky Mountain Phoenix sale rep Dave Savostianik, Town of Vermilion CAO George Rogers, Vermilion Fire Department Fire Chief Bill Roth, Town of Vermilion Mayor Caroline McAuley, Rocky Mountain Phoenix sales manager Jay Elliott, and Vermilion Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Anton Krys with the new Rosenbauer 104’ Cobra Platform fire truck. Photo Lorna Hamilton

Members of the Vermilion Fire Department and the Town of Vermilion were full of smiles and excitement on Jan 21 as they eagerly awaited the arrival of their brand new state of the art Rosenbauer 104’ Cobra Platform fire truck which cost $1.4 million and was purchased to replace the departments 20-year-old pumper truck.

“We are not adding a piece of equipment to the hall we are replacing a piece of equipment. We have a 20-year-old truck that has done its time, its service, and it’s time to get rid of that one and have this one,” said Vermilion Fire Chief Bill Roth.

The new truck (quint as it is called) has both a ladder and a pump. The 104’ ladder (from the ground) is also equipped with a basket which will result in easier rescue from heights as firefighters would not have to carry victims up and down the ladder. It will also add extra safety for firefighters who have to work at extreme heights and can reach any building that is currently in Vermilion.

“Last year I had a firefighter fall off a roof and luckily was not hurt, it could have been much worse. In the end, my biggest concern as Chief is fire safety and keeping my firefighters safe, they will not be working on roofs it will all be done from the ladder and basket” explained Roth.

The truck is also equipped with a waterway in front of the basket which can provide the firefighters the opportunity to fight fires from above. It is a tandem axle truck equipped with outriggers to help stabilize the vehicle on uneven ground surfaces and has a function where they can operate the truck remotely if they had to with a joystick.

“This will be a frontline truck, this will be the first truck out of the hall on any town calls from now on, and will be in service for the next 25 years,” added Roth.

The new unit was purchased from Rocky Mountain Phoenix from Red Deer but the deal was made in Indianapolis.

“We made the deal in Indianapolis as we were down there for the FDIC which is an international fire conference and we specifically went there to find somebody that would build us a truck. We sat with all different manufacturers from all over the country in Canada and the United States and this was the best bang for our buck and fit our needs.Rosenbauer built the truck in the States and then it was brought down to Red Deer and they finish off the decals and anything else that we needed to be changed. The four of us (from the department on our own time) went to Red Deer for two days and did nothing but run the truck, we went through it from top to bottom, did the final and made any changes that were needed,” explained Roth.

The truck was delivered to Vermilion by sales manager, Jay Elliott and sales rep Dave Savostianik who Roth said was super easy to work with and that they were very fortunate they were there with them to build this truck.

Each Captain in the Vermilion Fire Department is responsible for a truck and Roth said that Captain Tom Hartwell will be responsible for this truck.

Roth also went on to say that with the arrival of the new truck some members of the Vermilion Fire Department had been sent to the Fire Training Centre to obtain their aerial certification and he anticipates it will take approximately six weeks of training every night to train the 15 people he plans to have operating the truck. Due to the COVID pandemic, he can only have three to four people training at a time.

Mayor Caroline McAuley, Economic Development Officer for the Town of Vermilion Marylee Prior, and CAO George Rogers were also in attendance for the arrival of the fire truck.

“Wow! This has been a couple of years in the making, it has been a long time coming. This has been on our books for quite a long time and it is going to bring our firefighting to the next level and provide safety to our firefighters who are out in the field, this is critical, it really is about fire safety. I know people will look at it, and think, do we really need it but it’s a modern way of fighting fires and it will be able to improve safety and reduce time spent on fires because they will be able to fight them from above so this is a critical piece of equipment. It’s not just a new purchase it’s a replacement truck,” stated Mayor McAuley. McAuley went on to say “the truck that this new one is replacing looks amazing but it’s 20 years old and things start to give out.”

CAO for the Town of Vermilion George Rogers says they often can’t get a lot of money from the sale of the pumper truck they are taking out of service, so they will be finding another use for the truck within the operations for the Town.

“The truck being replaced will go into our recreation and community services department, we are going to recycle the old truck and use it to help water plants in the summer, help do the flooding for the outdoor rinks, we have a lot of outdoor rinks that need flooding so you know it will actually get used,” explained Mayor McAuley.

Rogers also commented, “I want to commend our Fire Chief and his team of firefighters, this was designed and built by our team. They worked with the manufacturers based on the need and the requirements and efficiency, etc.,” said Rogers.


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