Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Engine 2 pumps up firefighting capability

 About three weeks ago six new pumpers and two new ladder trucks were put into service in the city of Buffalo. Engine 2, located on Virginia Street was chosen as one of the engine companies to receive a new pumper. Not only do these new trucks show remembrance of 9/11 but also have a few added features that will help on many occasions.
 The trucks were put in to service on 9/11, marking the 10th anniversary of the largest terrorist attack on the United States and the loss of 343 fellow firefighters. In honor of their lost brothers, a 9/11 decal was posted on the side of every new truck.
 “I think it’s a nice idea,” said Capt. Jay Tillotson. “We like to show our support for the firefighters who died in New York City,” he added.
 There is a reason this engine company got a new truck. The men of Engine 2 respond to about 3,000 calls a year, most of which are on the West Side. This includes fire and emergency medical service (EMS) calls. This makes it the busiest engine company in the entire city of Buffalo and has been for the past 20 years.
 Not only do these new American LaFrance “rigs,” as firefighters refer to them, have a new decal, but they also have Class A foam, which Engine 2’s old pumper didn’t have. Class A foam is a water additive that helps water soak deeper into burning materials. This helps put a fire out faster, which will cause less water damage to burning buildings of the West Side. It also helps firefighters by reducing the amount of time they spend searching for possible hidden fires.
  The new pumper also has heat in the back where the firefighters ride to each call. This makes a cold and wet ride back from a mid-winter fire easier to tolerate.
  Lt.Mitchell Stewart is excited about the new pumper and said, “it’s like getting a new car.” He also believes this change was well overdue.
“We needed a new one,” he said. “We were over a 120,000 miles on our last pumper and it probably should’ve been taken out of service about six years ago.”
By Kaitlyn Fritz and Kaitlyn Riznyk