TFD replaces 28-year-old Engine 5 with brand-new truck
By Sarah Greil
TOMAHAWK – As fire engines become older and outdated, they eventually need to be replaced. On April 11 of this year, the Tomahawk Fire Department replaced Engine 5 with a brand-new truck.
Fire Chief Paul Winter has been serving with the Tomahawk Fire Department for 28 years and about nine months ago became their newest Fire Chief. He said that Tomahawk rotates replacing all their engines every 27-28 years, one about every five years.
Winter said when an engine is about 25 years old, they start working with a builder to design a new one. By the time they design the engine and get it through the quote process and choose a supplier to build it, it’s about a three-year process.
Around the end of this year, they will begin the process of replacing the next engine. They will begin discussing how Engine 3 serves the department and ask themselves if they need anything different on it than what they have now.
A committee of seven, comprised of a couple battalion chiefs, a couple officers, and a couple firefighters, meet and review the truck needing to be replaced and decide on Tomahawk’s specific needs for that truck. The new Engine 5 has most of the same features that the old truck had. It can hold 2,500 gallons of water and is able to pump 1,500 gallons of water a minute. The main difference is that, even though it is a foot and a half shorter than the old engine, it is a five-man cab instead of only three.
Most of the time, Tomahawk sells its old engines, unless the city department wants the chassis. This one was sold to the Pelican Fire Department.
Engine 5 was built by Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, Wis., and cost around $630,000.00. Winter says that there are many fire truck manufacturers in Wisconsin and that most fire trucks across the country are produced right here in Wisconsin.
The manufacturer provided training at one of their meeting nights, but Winter says they will be doing more hands-on training to get more familiar with the truck. He says the last thing you want to do is try to figure out a new feature on a truck while on a call.
The new Engine 5 has been out on a couple calls so far. On one call it was used to transfer water from itself to another engine that was working on a fire. It was even used to fill up a dunk tank at the school district.