No one ever hopes for a fire, but if it happens, why not fight in style?
That was the Plymouth Fire Departments attitude when they souped-up a 1990s Humvee to use against grass and field fires.
The vehicle, which sports a powerful pump donated by Gorman Rupp Co., several hoses and front spraying capabilities, and three special seats designed by Summit Racing, went into service Thursday, firefighter Chris Kelbley said.
And just in time for fall, when farm equipment is most likely to catch fire and ruin crops, he said.
Go big or go home, Kelbley said.
A firefighter strapped into a custom seat in the truck bed will control the hoses.
Sometimes we get in areas where our regular vehicles get stuck. Our other truck almost got buried one day, Kelbley said. But it takes a lot to get these things stuck.
Kelbley said the department used the truck during recent floods.
I took it through 2.5-foot deep water and it didnt have any issues, Kelbley said.
The department started working on the vehicle in January, after the Plymouth Police Department organized bringing it to the area with the help of a government program that donates surplus equipment for public safety services use, Kelbley said.
They picked up the vehicle from an air base in Kansas, and it has just 23,816 miles on it, he said.
Technically, the police department owns the vehicle, but both departments will share it, he said.
Now we have two engines, two tankers, two squads and two brush trucks, Kelbley said, noting the department bought a new fire engine in September of last year.
The two-inch high pressure pump mounted to the back of the hummer was just one of two pumps Gorman Rupp donated to the department, Central-Eastern District Manager Tony Chirico said. The other will be used on one of the departments tankers.
We live and work in these communities, so we try to respond to volunteer fire departments needs, Chirico said. Weve donated to several other volunteer operations before.
On top of the $2,000 pump, the fire department added nearly $10,000 in modifications to the hummer, Kelbley said. They put in new seats, police and fire lights and repainted the vehicle fire engine red.
Bow Enterprises LLC custom-built a 300-gallon water tank and storage unit to fit in the back of the truck bed, he said.
Last years chicken dinner helped pay for this, Kelbley said, referring to the 37th annual Firemans Festival in Plymouth, which started Friday. This year we have 1700 chicken halves to sell.