PEARLINGTON, MS (WLOX) - The community of Pearlington now has a new half-million dollar fire truck helping to keep its residents safe.
The West Hancock Fire Rescue recently acquired the custom-designed emergency vehicle. The 2019 Pumper truck took about a year to plan, design and build, said Fire Chief Glen Sigur.
The engine features a Hale Qmax 1,500 gpm pump and holds 1,000 gallons of water. The new truck also sports a new feature that other fire trucks in West Hancock County don’t have: an on-board foam system that can dispense 30 gallons of foam with the touch of a button.
The custom truck also has two battery-powered jaws of life: one for cutting into a vehicle and another for opening the vehicle up faster and more efficiently.
The $483,000 price tag may seem like a lot but Chief Sigur said the new gear was a long-time coming.
“We had an engine that was 15 years old,” he explained. “We were doing a lot of maintenance on the truck. In the last five years, we’d put out an astronomical amount on maintenance. It was just time to replace it so we wind up getting this truck here.”
But the heft price tag on the truck is two-fold. Not only will it keep citizens safe, it will also save taxpayers on property insurance and taxes by keeping the city’s fire rating down. Better fire protection for the community equates to a higher fire safety rating.
“We recently, two years ago, went down from an eight to a seven,” said the fire chief about the fire rating. "So all of that is determined by your personnel, your training, your apparatuses and the capabilities and such like that.
The West Hancock Fire Rescue also has a new rescue truck being built to help alleviate some of the stress put on the newest vehicle.