What had been a dream for Douglas Fire Chief Mario Novoa became a reality Wednesday when at long last, the new $1.1 million fire truck arrived.
The new truck is 47 feet long, 12.5 feet tall and weighs 80,000 pounds.
Its bucket is equipped with a sprinkler system that will keep it from getting too hot when on top of flames. It has a dual nozzle that will allow water to spray out at a rate of 2,000 gallons per minute.
The day after the new arrival Chief Novoa was still glowing when talking about the new truck.
“It’s a surreal feeling for us here at the fire station,” he said. “This truck belongs to the citizens of Douglas. We will be the caretakers … but it belongs to the entire city.”
The Chief said the truck is not just for firefighting, it can also be used for all kinds of rescues.
“With all the safety features and all configurations that it has it’s a state of the art truck,” the chief said. “It’s a bitter sweet feeling because I’ve always felt we needed this truck years and years ago.”
Chief Novoa said Councilman Ben LaForge stopped by the department last Wednesday to see the new truck and remarked this is a morale booster not only for the citizens of Douglas but also the employees of the Douglas Fire Department.
“This is something the City of Douglas has needed for a while,” the chief said. “I see this as a piece of equipment that boosts our city to another level.”
Chief Novoa said he appreciates the new administration and how it’s moving forward by allowing them to make such a large purchase.
The chief was the first one to go up in the bucket 100 feet up in the air.
“The view was incredible,” he said. “I’ve never seen Veteran’s Park from that angle.”
The view was sweeter the chief added because he knew the truck was here to say and not from a vendor showing off its product.
While the truck may be here it is not in operation until all the fire fighters have been trained on how to use it.
“We’ve never had an aerial apparatus in the City of Douglas,” the chief said. “This is our first. There are a lot of limitations and uses. We need to make sure our staff use it effectively and safely at every single scene.”
The instructors will be flying in from Wisconsin Sept. 10. They will be in Douglas Sept. 11 for the open house where the truck will be on display for the public to see. The training will be conducted from Sept. 12-14.
“We look to be in full service by Sept. 17,” Chief Novoa said.