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Calif. FD ‘back to our roots’ with red fire engine

Dixon firefighter committee decided to change from lemony yellow to red/gray for new type 1 engine


Dixon Fire Department/Facebook

By Kimberly K. Fu
The Reporter

DIXON, Calif. — The Dixon Fire Department unveiled this week the newest firefighting tool in its arsenal — an engine equipped with the latest technology and safety advances.

Also new — its grey over red color scheme, the first in the fleet that’s not a brilliant, lemony yellow.

“We’ve gone back to our roots,” Chief Todd McNeal acknowledged Tuesday.

It was a committee decision, the chief pointed out, and members’ suggestion. Aside from the new color scheme, the doors are emblazoned with a custom logo with input from several Dixon firefighters.

A collaborative effort, Engine 81 is a worthy investment, McNeal said. The 2023 Pierce Velocity vehicle, a joint purchase by the Fire Department and Dixon Fire Protection District, will keep the department in good stead maintenance-wise.

An older ladder truck had been slated for replacement, but a new, advanced model engine apparently just made more sense.

With a slight age gap between the new Type 1 engine and the older one, there won’t be a need for a new engine for quite a while. There also won’t be a need for any costly maintenance issues or upkeep.

“There’s a stagger of about five years,” McNeal said.

The Fire Department’s jurisdiction is about 320 square miles, he added, which is a lot of distance to cover. With the new engine, there will be no worries about breaking down en route to a call, he said.

In a press statement, Battalion Chief Randy Shafer shared the sentiment.

“It will enhance our ability to respond to emergencies quickly and efficiently,” he shared. “We look forward to serving our community with this new addition to our fleet.”

Engine 81, officials explained, is equipped with a Heedful Audio Alert System. It uses digital alerts to notify nearby drivers and other first responders of the truck’s presence when lights and sirens are activated.

The vehicle has been seen around town and the community seems to appreciate it.

“Everybody I talked to at the May Fair loved it,” he remembered.

More plans are in the works to aid in public safety, McNeal said, citing another firehouse to be built in the city’s southwest quadrant, in the Homestead area. That location will house Station 82 and operate as a satellite firehouse with its own equipment and crew.

As the town continues to grow, services will continue to evolve, the chief said, adding that the city and the Department are always thinking of ways to better serve the community.

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