Rolling in the new

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 15, 2023

Ironton Fire Department gets mini pumper truck

On Tuesday morning, the dayshift crew of the Ironton Fire Department was pushing one of their shiny, red trucks into the bay of the station.

There was nothing wrong with the mini-pumper, quite the opposite, actually.

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It was a brand-new Ford mini-pumper that had just been delivered 45 minutes earlier and the pushing of the truck into the bay is a tradition for firefighters when they get a new vehicle.

The Ironton Fire Department crew checks out the new mini pumper truck on Tuesday morning. (The Tribune|Mark Shaffer)

IFD Capt. Craig Thomas said the mini-pumper is a 2022 Ford F-550 that was put together by the Matheney Fire and Rescue of Kenova, West Virginia. It replaces a pre-2000s utility-rescue truck that didn’t have a water tank on it,

“The mini-pumper can be used in tight quarters, like Carl Drive and Sherer Road, Yellow Branch, Orchard Hollow,” he said.

The mini-pumper has a 300-gallon tank, which is fine for smaller fires and can be hooked up to a hydrant on bigger fires. 

“It will be used for car fires and we will keep the jaws of life on this truck,” Thomas said.

The truck was put into action about 24 hours after it arrived.

On Wednesday, an SUV collided with a telephone pole and a fire hydrant in the 1900 block of North Second Street and the jaws of life were used to get the driver out of the crushed door.

Thomas thanked the mayor and the Ironton City Council for “their quick response and getting the truck to us.”

The last major truck purchase for the IFD was in 2014.

Mayor Sam Cramblit said they were very happy to get this equipment for the fire department.

 “This was really need and this is an upgrade, not a replacement,” he said. “This will allow them to handle some areas that they haven’t been able to handle before because of close quarters. This gives them the capability of the engines have, but in a smaller vehicle.”

He added that the city self financed the $280,000 mini-pumper because with the current interest rates on loans are so high.

“In today’s day and age and the interest rates that are out there, it is much cheaper to self-finance a lot of things. Especially if they are an immediate need,” he said. “We were able to come up with the money through the general fund to pay for this.”

He admitted it is an expensive vehicle, but it will also be in service for many years.

“There is a longevity to these vehicles and they take great care of what they have. But, eventually, you have to replace them.”