Wing’s Fire Department receives multi-purpose truck
By Staff Sgt. Sherree Grebenstein, 167AW/PA
/ Published April 16, 2012
Martinsburg, W.Va. -- The 167th Airlift Wing's Fire Department recently took possession of a ladder/pumper combination fire truck.
And like with any new vehicle, the Wing's firefighters checked the newest addition to the fleet from top to bottom: turning knobs, flipping switches, taking to the wheel and even stretching the truck's 75-foot aluminum ladder to its maximum height.
Joseph Cederroth, a field representative from E-ONE, Inc. based in Ocala, Fla., was on hand to answer questions and offer advice as the Wing's firefighters from all three shifts became familiarized with the HP 75 quint fire truck.
Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Gengler, fire chief for the 167th Airlift Wing, said the base received the new fire truck in early March because the National Guard Bureau had requested the C-5 unit receive one.
"The purpose of the vehicle is that the ladder reaches the tail section of the C-5," the fire chief explained. "We received the quint fire truck in an addition to our standard equipment because of the C-5s."
The HP 75 is a multi-purpose fire truck that can transport a crew of five. Currently eight of the Wing's firefighters are licensed to drive it.
"It's pretty much everything in one package," Cederroth said. "It's a very popular truck because of the size and that it can be used for multi-purposes."
"My job is to make sure that everyone is comfortable using it," he added.
Master Sgt. Bruce Chrisman, assistant chief of training for the Wing's Fire Department, said the HP 75 is limited in numbers so he's happy one could find a home at the base's Fire Department.
"It's the same type of truck that you would see in your local community fire department," Chrisman noted.
E-ONE, Inc. built the quint fire truck in sections over six months and then assembled it into a first response vehicle, Cederroth said.
This is the first time the Wing's Fire Department has counted a ladder truck among its vehicle inventory, said Master Sgt. Travis Horne, an assistant chief of operations and traditional Guardsman assigned as a firefighter.
In his 16 years serving at the 167th Airlift Wing, firefighters have used JLG lifts or cherry pickers.
"We've never had a ladder," Horne said.
Adding: "We have always relied on mutual aid from the city of Martinsburg for ladder truck operations."
Staff Sgt. Brandon Evans, assigned as a fulltime fire fighter with the base's fire department, liked the opportunity to get familiarized with the new emergency response vehicle.
"It will be an asset to the Wing," Evans said.
Staff Sgt. Jason Smith, also a fulltime fire fighter as well as an emergency medical technician, agreed with Evans but noted that it would also be an asset in serving the community off base when needed.
"It will allow for better operations all around," Smith said.
The HP 75's unique features include: an aerial hose capable of pumping 1,250 gallons of water per minute; a water flow of 75 feet in the air from the aerial device and foam capabilities to combat both aircraft and structure fires.
Once all three shifts and the traditional guardsmen assigned to the Fire Department are trained on the new HP 75 fire truck an exercise will be planned to test its mettle, the fire chief said.
Adding: "It's pretty sweet."