GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The Grand Junction Fire Department recently purchased its second brand-new, cherry-red fire engine, with all the bells and whistles, for Fire Station 4. It should be up and running, in time for the new year."We're putting the finishing touches on mounting equipment," Bill Roth, deputy fire chief of operations, said. "It's going into service in the next couple weeks in Orchard Mesa."Firefighters at Station 4 aren't the only lucky ones, however - Roth said Fire Station 2 (Patterson & 28 1/2) received its own engine back in August."Both units are brand new," Roth said, "and they are replacing a fleet that's been in service for 12-15 years."The engines were bought by the City of Grand Junction for $408,491 per unit because of overall wear and tear on its aging engines. Roth said new equipment purchases were necessary because the cost of maintenance for the old vehicles were "cost-prohibitive and not cost effective." Roth also noted that Station 2's old engine was sold to the Central Orchard Mesa Fire Department, and Station 4's retired vehicle is awaiting either auction or sale."It made sense to make these purchases," he said. "The life expectancy of an engine is 10-15 years depending on wear and tear."Plus, both new engines are replete with new technologies and advancements."What's really exciting is that the two pumpers are equipped with a compressed air foam system," Roth said. "There's many advantages to using that in fire fighting. It uses less water. The foam additive provides a blanket or barrier. It can penetrate burning fuel, and it has a faster extinguishing time."Foam absorbs heat," Roth continued. "It cools a fire quicker, and there's less chance of a flashover (quick combustion). It reduces the potential for a re-kindle, and there's less heat stress on firefighters because the hose line weighs less. (The new technology also) uses less water and there's less smoke damage. There's less chance of structural collapse."According to Roth, Station 2's new engine has already fought a few fires locally, and the compressed air foam system has won over the team."They're amazed at how well it works," he said.Firefighters at Station 4 have already participated in training with the engine's new technologies, Roth noted, and there will be more training in January."We try to provide the best equipment for the community," he said. "To provide the best fire protection and service, it's easier when you have the best technology."
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