Today, the Washington County Commissioners approved the purchase of a new fire engine to be put into service and operated by Dammeron Valley Fire & Rescue. The Commissioners approved the $562K purchase and up to an additional $100K for related equipment subject to legal review.
The new engine is manufactured by HME, Inc. and is scheduled to be completed by the end of June with delivery tentatively scheduled for mid-July. Manufactured in Michigan, the engine is ideally suited to the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) along the SR-18 corridor. It is six feet shorter than DVFR’s current engine, and with a shorter wheelbase the new engine is more adaptable to the steep and narrow roads in areas of the Valley, such as Pinion Hills.
The new engine will replace DVFR’s current apparatus, which was manufactured in 1991 and went into service for DVFR in approximately 2005. “Our current Beck manufactured Type 1 pumper has served Dammeron Valley and the SR-18 corridor well,” stated DVFR Fire Chief John Hennessey. “With the demands of increased call volumes and training hours, the current apparatus has been plagued with critical maintenance issues and has exceeded it’s useful life for an active fire and rescue department responding to both structure and wildland fires, as well as medical and traffic incident calls.”
Chief Hennessey noted that DVFR’s increased roster of certified wildland and structural firefighters also means the department is responding to more mutual aid calls. “DVFR is responding to more calls than ever along the SR-18 corridor and beyond and thus far this year our call volume is 40% above last year.” shared Chief Hennessey. “This new engine provides our members with a best-in-class apparatus that is reliable and adaptable to the ever-changing conditions in DVFR’s service area.”
Washington County Commissioner Victor Iverson noted in the Commission meeting to approve the purchase that DVFR’s current apparatus is “held together by hope.” The aging apparatus requires constant maintenance and upkeep and recently began leaking fuel, which presents a significant hazard.
Chief Hennessey expressed gratitude to the County Commissioners for their commitment to safety and first responders along the SR-18 corridor. “As rural communities in Southern Utah continue to grow at a record rate, it’s critical that emergency services keep pace.” Chief Hennessey added, “This new apparatus ensures DVFR’s certified members have the tools they need to continue to respond to a record number of incidents safely and effectively”.