Two new quints for the Rome-Floyd Fire Department are now in service, after officials spent more than a year designing them and monitoring the manufacturing process.
“We went to Dublin, Ohio, for the final inspection in June,” Fire Chief Troy Brock said. “Less than 10 corrections were needed on each truck. We were very impressed.”
Members of the joint fire overview committee got a look at the special features Tuesday following their meeting. Division Chief Brad Roberson said a team of longtime firefighters, now administrators, ensured each compartment was tailored to local needs.
“As an example, we get thousands of medical calls, so we put the EMS equipment right in the back of the cab,” he said.
Technology in the driver’s seats includes digital maps of Floyd County parcels, including infrastructure — and they’ll be adding the schematics for large buildings firefighters may have to enter. The aerial ladders on the old trucks used to take about 2 minutes to raise. These go up in less than 30 seconds.
“We’re basically a rolling toolbox,” Roberson told city and county commissioners.
The Sutphen trucks, ordered last July, cost a total of $1.74 million. One is being paid for through a lease-purchase agreement. The other is funded through the 2017 special purpose, local option sales tax.
Brock got permission to order the SPLOST-funded vehicle before revenue started rolling in this year. They got a multi-vehicle discount, he said, and beat a price-hike from the steel and aluminum tariffs.
Roberson said “quints” — quintuple combination pumpers — got the name because they carry five main pieces of equipment. There’s an on-board pump, a 500-gallon water tank, a ground ladder, an aerial ladder and a supply hose. They last about 20 years and are used often.
“Quints is what saved Bekaert,” Roberson said, referencing a November 2014 fire that significantly damaged the steel wire plant but left enough to warrant rebuilding. “We saved a lot of jobs.”
Also, Brock pointed out, having the quints improves the department’s ISO score — which is what home insurers base their prices on in a community.
The 110-foot ladder truck will remain based in downtown Rome, at the West First Street station. One of the new quints, dubbed “Beast of the East,” is housed at the East Rome station and “Best of the West” is kept in West Rome.