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Massive new fire truck to boost Port Coquitlam fire and emergency response

New fire rescue truck is 35 per cent larger than the previous model and can hold more equipment for MVAs, fires, hazardous material containment, high angle rescue and more. It also has a cleaner cab, as part of a new safety initiative for firefighters.

Port Coquitlam now has a new rescue truck in operation in the city following a traditional "push-in" ceremony.

The event, involving current and retired firefighters, saw the massive $1 million rescue truck pushed into Fire Hall No. 1.

"It was our first ever push-in ceremony," said Chief Robert Kipps, who is understandably proud of the new machine.

The new rescue truck holds 35 per cent more equipment then the current truck, which is 18 years old and soon will be retired.

Jeff Sweet, deputy director of operations, told the Tri-City News that the new rescue truck took over two years to procure and had to be designed specifically to Port Coquitlam's needs.

"There is no off the rack stuff," said Sweet.

Among the new features of the truck is the "Clean Cab Initiative," which ensures that no contaminated materials, including equipment and clothing from fires or other rescue operations, enter the cab. Additionally, the large, five-seat cab is constructed of material that is easily cleaned.

Health and safety requirements to protect firefighters have changed since 2005, when the previous truck was built, therefore extra effort has been put into keeping the cab clean and free of contaminants.

Roll-over protection has also been beefed up and the airbags have been enhanced, as well.

It also has special storage compartments to ensure that equipment that is stored on board will not move around when the rescue truck is on the move.

"It seems simple," said Sweet, "but it's all about safety."

The truck goes out on every call, from fires to MVAs and special operations such as hazardous material containment, high angle rescue and confined space incidents.

It carries all the equipment firefighters need to do their important jobs, including jaws-of-life equipment to extract people from destroyed vehicles, and a light tower to illuminate critical areas in the dark. 

"This truck is a giant tool box," said Sweet, "it has everything on it."

The truck is 37 feet long and is powered by a 450 horsepower Cummins diesel engine with increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions compared to older models.

SVI, a local company out of Albbotsford, was the dealer and the truck was built in Colorado.