Shiny new ride added to city fire truck fleet

Published 12:43 am Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Natchez alderman Mark Fortenbery, right, reviews some of the new features of the city’s newest fire truck with city fire marshal Aaron Wesley.

NATCHEZ — The city’s shiny new $464,000 ride attracted a few second glances in front of City Hall Tuesday afternoon, and it’s not even fire-truck red.

Natchez Fire Chief Oliver Stewart said the 25-foot fire truck, which arrived Thursday, will replace a 1991 model truck and is equipped with new features, including a foam tank and a booster reel, that will improve the Natchez Fire Department’s service to the community.

“Anytime we can replace one there are definite benefits,” Stewart said.

Stewart said the new truck has a foam tank that allows firefighters to have easy access to foam on the truck.

Firefighters had to suck the foam into the fire hose on the old truck from a five-gallon bucket.

Stewart said the foam smothers fire and allows firefighters to control grease and oil fires.

Stewart said the booster reel installed on the new truck would help the NFD fight grass fires.

The reel is mounted on the top of the truck, and Stewart said the hose can be unwound and wound up quickly to give firefighters.

Stewart said Natchez firefighters fighting grass fires with the old truck often had to disconnect the hose to move locations.

The truck has a 1,000-gallon tank that pumps 1,250 gallons of water per minute. He said the truck was paid for out of the city’s special fire fund and will be fully loaded and in service in mid-October.