Mon September 16, 2013
City unveils newest additions to firefighting fleet
The Buffalo Fire Department has ten new vehicles at its disposal, continuing the city's effort to upgrade and augment its fleet.
Mayor Byron Brown and Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield unveiled the new custom-built vehicles Monday morning. They include five Command Response Vehicles, an Urban Search and Rescue Vehicle, an EMS response vehicle, a Rehab/Mass Casualty Incident Vehicle, and two Segways for use at festivals and special events.
The $643,742 investment is part of what Mayor Brown calls an ongoing commitment to upgrading the fleet.
"We have been able to invest over $16.7 million since 2006 for the full replacement of the fire fleet," Brown said. "Every single piece of equipment has been replaced."
Fire department chaplains dedicated the new vehicles at a ceremony at Canalside Monday morning. The expense is being paid for using capital bonds and federal grants.
"We have an excellent fire department. I believe we have one of the best fire departments in the entire nation and I'm very pleased that we've been able to make these investments," Brown said.
Whitfield singled out the Rehab/MCI Vehicle, the most expensive unit at $307,742, as a piece of equipment the department has badly needed. The truck will respond to major fires or emergencies where the health and safety of firefighters at the scene may be in jeopardy.
"Our members work very, very hard in very adverse environments and conditions and one of the things we want to do is make sure that we keep them healthy and well. This vehicle will be used to give them some comfort and some respite in the midst of these events, which will allow them to continue to serve in the capacities that we need them to serve in," Whitfield said.
The mayor also announced 43 fire department promotions Monday. The city says it plans to hire a new class of firefighters in January.