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Fire department gets new ride

The Demopolis Fire Department welcomed a new addition to the force yesterday — a 2008 Pierce fire engine.

Fire Chief Ronnie Few said the new truck, already emblazoned with city striping, would be a familiar sight on city streets for the next several weeks.

“There’s a lot of differences in this truck and what we’re used to,” he said. “Each of the fire fighters will have to log seat time to get used to driving it. It’s also different in the way it pumps (water). So, we’re still training and learning.”

Professional trainers will travel to Demopolis in the coming days to help introduce the company to their new truck and train them on how to use it.

The truck itself is state of the art. It’s equipped with electronic monitors, which notify the crew of any mechanical or system failures.

The engine, which features both water and foam fire suppression capabilities, also has one creature comfort manymotorists wouldn’t want to do with out.

“This is the first city fire truck to ever have air conditioning,” Few said. “It doesn’t take much to get a fire fighter overheated. When you’re at a fire, there’s no place to take them and cool them off. Now we can sit them in the truck. It’s really a safety feature.”

The truck carries a hefty price tag – more than $350,000 – but Few added the city saved more than $50,000 in this particular truck.

“The City of Pelham bid on almost the same set up,” he said.

“We just followed their bid with ours, which helped us save some money.”

Few said he expected the truck to be put into service within the next three weeks.