Humboldt gets new fire truck that can pump while moving

HUMBOLDT — A new fire truck has been put into service by the Humboldt Fire Department, replacing one that has been utilized for the last 20 years.

The truck, bought from the company Sea Hawk at a cost of about $499,000, was a joint purchase between the City of Humboldt and the Humboldt and District Firefighter Protection Association.

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“We generally try to replace our fire trucks around the 20 year mark if we can,” said Mike Kwasnica, Humboldt's fire chief.

“There’s a few options on this truck that did make it a better deal for the money, and also it was considered a ‘demo unit,’ which means we don’t have to wait for it to be built.”

An estimated wait time on a non-demo model could take between 12 to 15 months to manufacture.

One significant difference between this truck and their previous model is it has the ability to pump water out while being driven.

Kwasnica said this has useful practical use when confronting grass fires.

“The previous truck could not pump or roll, which is a requirement that we put in our tender, that we wanted our new truck to be able to pump and roll,” he said.

“It’s a rural truck, one of the important things about a rural truck is we do a lot of grass fires and field fires, which generally don’t stand still. A truck that is a stationary pumper is for more structure fires and fires which generally don’t move on you.”

The new model can hold 750 gallons of water, has a waterous aquis foam system, four wheel drive, front bumper spray nozzles and a 100' x 1" hose reel.

“Some of the items on this truck that we didn’t have on the previous truck is the four door cab on it,” Kwasnica said. “The other truck had a separate cab where the firefighters were facing backwards and had their SCBAs in the rear compartment.”

He said this caused less clear communication in the past.

“The chassis itself is a four-wheel drive chassis which gives us a little bit more ability to go out to the rural areas.”

The truck being replaced remains functional, and was sold to Lake Lenore Fire Department for $50,000.

“We’re glad to see them get it,” Kwasnica said. “For them it replaces an older pumper that they’ve had. It will serve them, I’m sure, for a number of years to come.”

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