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Firefighters welcome new fire engine

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A group of Cloquet Area Fire District employees physically pushed their brand new custom built 2017 E-ONE fire engine into the garage Monday afternoon, and not because they couldn't get it started.

"Since the early 1830s during the time of horse-drawn apparatus, it (the new apparatus) was taken to the fire station and given a housing ceremony," Battalion Chief Jesse Buhs explained to a small group of CAFD employees and family members gathered there. "One such tradition was a push-in. The reason for the push-in was the horses would not or could not push the apparatus into the station."

When he finished talking about the features of the new engine, the men pushed the huge truck backwards into the station as one steered and another guided them.

It took about two years to custom build the engine for CAFD.

The new engine features larger interior to carry six firefighters, tanks to carry 1,200 gallons of water and 30 gallons of firefighting foam, according to Buhs.

The new engine has more storage space as well as nearly 3,000 feet of fire fighting hose.

"Custom built fire engines are more maneuverable with shorter wheel bases, have better braking, and more rigid frames which make them safer for the firefighters," Buhs said. "They are known to hold up better in a department with a higher-call volume, resulting in less projected maintenance and greater longevity."

Engine 1 replaced two fire engines, one of which was over 20 years old, Buhs added.

The new truck came in on budget and cost $460,000 on a lease-purchase program with annual payments for five years.

"House fires grow faster and burn hotter than ever before," said Buhs. "It is imperative that we take every opportunity to make our response quicker and more capable by designing the new fire engine specifically for the best possible response."

Last year CAFD responded to roughly 3,000 calls. About 20 percent were fire calls.


The new engine will complement the other emergency vehicles already owned by CAFD, including the following:

• Rescue 1 is a rescue vehicle and is typically seen at car accidents. It carries extrication tools that help rescue people trapped in their vehicles as well as many other tools.

• Tower 1 Elevated master stream is a large water holder. It has a big bucket which is easier and safer than a regular straight ladder for the firefighters, especially in windy weather. The ladder reaches up to 95 feet.

• There are four identical ambulances at station one. The staff are all career staff and cross trained as both firefighters and paramedics.

• Tanker 21 supplies 3,000 gallons of water to areas without fire hydrants.



See the Pine Journal paper for more photos