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Video: America's most unusual fire truck unveiled

The department converted a dump truck that the city's water department no longer wanted into a traffic blocking rig


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — After a spate of incidents involving motorists crashing into fire trucks, the Grand Rapids, Mich., Fire Department is rolling out a new vehicle to help keep firefighters safe and protect department equipment.

The department converted a dump truck that the city's water department no longer wanted, and rigged it with shock absorbers in the back, a flashing arrow sign on the rear and the paint, chevrons and emergency lights typical of fire trucks, according to WOOD.

Three crashes where drivers struck fire department vehicles used for blocking traffic had taken place during a recent eight-month span, causing about $150,000 in damages.

The attenuators attached to the back of the new truck help absorb energy of a crash to protect both the responders and the passengers in the vehicle.

All equipment either came from spare reserves or was covered by a private insurance company grant of $15,000, meaning the vehicle came at no cost to tax payers.

In the spate of recent crashes, all damages to fire department vehicles was covered by insurance.

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