Yorkton Fire Protective Services unveiled its new truck Monday.
“Now, we not only have probably the best building in the province, but a state-of-the-art truck to go with it,” said Bob Maloney, Yorkton mayor.
The $665,000 purchase, dubbed Engine 3 was required to replace the aging Engine 2, explained Deputy Chief Greg Litvanyi.
“Basically, the way fire trucks work is they have a 20 year life expectancy for a pumper,” he said. “Engine 2 went into service in 2002 and it was purchased used, so it’s been in service for 12 years. The 20 year life expectancy as a general rule, they spend 10 years in front line service and and then 10 years in a secondary or backup service so we’re just continuing on with that fleet replacement program so that we don’t end up in a situation where we have a fire truck that isn’t serviceable to protect the citizens.”
Engine 3 now becomes the primary pumper while Engine 2 becomes the backup. Engine 1, purchased in 1993 will be used for training and possibly an auxiliary unit if events warrant the use of three trucks.
Litvanyi outlined some of the new benefits such as increased pumping capacity and tools that are mounted on pull out panels rather than in drawers. The key feature, however, is an enclosed pump panel.
“The enclosed pump panel is a huge difference for the firefighters, it provides some protection from the elements for the pump operator, it also provides an area for rehab for our firefighters,” he said. “At longer incidents, they have a place to get in and warm up or cool down and not interfere with the operation of the truck.”
The newest member of the fleet is also part of a new Public Works initiative to increase maintenance efficiency.
“This is the first time we’ve been included in the [specification process] for a fire truck,” said Jonathan Oranchuk, operations manager, Public Works.
“The biggest problem we have is with technology advancing we can’t keep up with it, so what we’re trying to do is streamline every piece of equipment we have to have similar power trains, so when our mechanics come down to having to do anything, we can just focus on one brand.”
This new strategy will apply to most of the vehicles the city buys.
“Other than the really large pieces of equipment, gravel trucks, anything that we can have a similar brand of engine transmission and like that, we’ll do it.”
Oranchuk could not put a dollar figure on it, but believes the initiative will save the City time and money.