High Point firefighters testing newest truck before they finish loading it and putting it into service

HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point firefighters with Station 12 are testing their newest truck before they finish loading it and putting it into service.

Engine 12 is a 1,000-gallon pumper truck and will soon be joined by Engine 6, a smaller 500-gallon pumper truck.

A rescue truck will go into service next week. Deputy Chief Brian Evans said the three trucks are a good investment for the city.

"These three apparatuses cost the citizens $1.8 million. It was done through a contract buy so we are getting the best price out there for these apparatus," said Deputy Chief Evans.

$1.8 million is a lot of money. But Deputy Chief Evans explains that tax payers will spend less in the long run.

"Another good thing is that with an aging fleet, you have to worry about maintenance and maintenance cost. So, these new apparatus, we will see a down turn in maintenance cost because they are new and the latest and greatest technology out there."

Engine 12 and Engine 6 have airbags, displays that show which firefighter is or isn't buckled up and WIFI systems that allow mechanics to log in and talk to the truck.

Deputy Chief Evans demonstrated the jaws of life on the new rescue truck. The device has a powerful bite that can cut today's stronger metals. Plus, the life-saving equipment can go anywhere.

"These are battery powered and you are no longer tethered to a hydraulic hose," Evans said.

The three new trucks are a part of the 15-year replacement plan. After 15 years of heavy duty, the engines become back-ups for another five years before they are retired.

"So not only does that help out with replacing an apparatus, it gives us enough reserves in case one is in for routine maintenance," said Evans. "We will have a reserve to go back into."

For now, High Point firefighters with Station 12 are not thinking about a reserve truck. They can't wait to see what a pumper truck with a bigger tank can do.

The new Engine 12 replaces the 2002 Engine 12 that has a 750-gallon tank. Station 12 off of Barrow Road needed a larger pumper truck because they respond to the rural areas outside of High Point. Plus, Station 12 provides mutual aid to the Colfax Fire Department.