Ky. fire dept. debuts new, specialized fire truck

The Rescue 1 truck cost $826,278 and specializes in rescues such as swift water, diving, machinery entrapment, structural collapse and trench collapse

By Mike Stunson
Lexington Herald-Leader

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Lexington Fire Department has debuted its new fire truck, which will respond to specialized emergencies across the city.

The Rescue 1 truck cost $826,278 and carries $91,483 in equipment, fire officials said. Its specialties for rescues include swift water, diving, machinery entrapment, structural collapse, trench collapse, high- and low-angle rope rescue, large animals and confined spaces.

Fire Chief Kristin Chilton said Rescue 1 will respond to calls that require a lot of expertise and specialized equipment.

"It would be cost-prohibitive to train every firefighter for these events, or to duplicate that type of equipment across the other 40-plus fire trucks," Chilton said.

The custom-built truck will be able to carry 30 percent more equipment than the previous Rescue 1 truck and will provide a continuous air-supply system for the drivers, Chilton said.

In a statement, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said the city has invested $17.9 million to improve firefighting equipment since 2011, including $14.3 million on trucks. It also has added two ambulance units and two new stations.

"Our investment, and a lot of hard work by our firefighters, have built our fire department into one of the highest-ranked departments in the country," Gray said. "Investments like the truck we are unveiling today make Lexington safer."

Eight firefighters from the rescue team spent more than two years to customize the truck, Lt. Mark Isaacs said.

"We're building continuously on those lessons learned on how we operate, what tools we use to operate with and where those tools are best suited to come off this rig," Isaacs said. "So that's where you see the placement of different tools and equipment, and we have also added some new tools to enhance the service that we offer Fayette County."

It has not yet been determined when the new truck will be dispatched for the first time. Rescue 1 will be stationed at Lexington Fire Station 3 on Merino Street.

Copyright 2017 Lexington Herald-Leader


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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