There are three brand new additions to the Allentown Fire Department fleet.
Mayor Ray O’Connell and Fire Chief Jim Wehr unveiled three new fire trucks at a “Push-in Ceremony” this morning at Mack South Fire Station.
The equipment was purchased from Pierce Manufacturing.
The department’s new Engine 4 is a 2018 Pumper Engine with 450 maximum horsepower on an Enforcer Chassis. It will be housed at Central Fire Station.
Two 2018 Rescue/Pumper Engines equipped with 450 maximum horsepower on an Enforcer Chassis are also in service. One will be housed at Mack South Fire Station running as Rescue Engine 11 and the other will be at Central Fire Station running as Rescue Engine 9.
Engine 11 and 9 will carry all the specialized tools for vehicle rescues such as the Jaws of Life. They will also carry specialized equipment for water rescues, confined space and high angle rescues.
A $500,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development was used toward the purchase of the new fire pumper.
State Senator Pat Browne and State Representatives Peter Schweyer and Mike Schlossberg assisted in securing the grant. All three attended today's ceremony.
Funding of $1.2 million for the two rescue pumpers was included in the city’s 2018 capital budget.
“Since day one, I have said that public safety is my top priority,” said O’Connell. “This new equipment keeps a commitment to the fire department to improve its fleet and enhance the city’s firefighting and rescue capabilities.”
Wehr said, “The new vehicles were built to withstand the tough, continuous use required during emergency firefighting operations. They are a great improvement to the fleet. I thank the mayor and city council for their commitment to fire safety and thank our state legislative representatives for their help in securing the grant funds.”
In July, the department will receive delivery of a 2019 Hackney 19-ft walk around Rescue Body HazMat Truck on a custom Spartan Metro Chassis. It is equipped with a command area in the cab for the team to conduct research. The truck will carry all the specialized equipment to handle all hazardous materials calls.
The push-in ceremony dates back to the late 1800s during the days of the horse-drawn fire engines. Since it was difficult for the horses to back up equipment into the stations, firefighters would have to disconnect the horses and hand push the apparatus back into the storage bays. This tradition has been around for decades to dedicate a new apparatus being put into service and brings a sense of tradition and honor to fire department personnel.
The 125-person department maintains a front-line compliment of seven fire engines and one ladder truck from six fire stations spread across the city. A Battalion Chief is on duty at all times.
The department’s highly trained personnel include units specializing in hazardous materials, underwater recovery and technical rescue and bomb squad.