South Jacksonville firefighters are raving about the department’s latest upgrade, which came in the form of a brand new fire truck.
Several months ago, the Village’s Board of Trustees approved the purchase of the new vehicle. While the last truck was bought in 1999, the most recent one replaces the truck purchased back in 1985.
South Jacksonville Fire Chief David Hickox says his staff is excited about the upgrade after taking the truck on a recent test run.
“It’s a wonderful vehicle, it’s everything we expected. We ended up taking it and putting into service that Monday right before Thanksgiving and ran a couple of calls with it. The guys are happy with it, it’s got lots of room, and it’s a great asset to the Village,” says Hickox.
During last Thursday’s Village meeting, Hickox discussed the training process as his staff gets used to the new technology. Hickox breaks down the differences between the old truck and the brand new vehicle.
“This one here’s all closed cab, the last one we had was an open cab. This one actually sits six firemen in it with five firemen and the driver. We’ve changed it from a side-mount to a top-mount to get the firemen off the road and into a safer environment. We’ve added a foam system to this vehicle, which is an upgrade, we don’t have anything other than our brush truck with foam. It’s got all LED lights on it and that’s a huge thing, those things are so bright. It’s a great upgrade for us,” Hickox explains.
The fire department hopes to have the truck in full use shortly, once all firefighters have gone through the necessary training.