WINDSOR, Vt. – The Windsor fire Department has recently gained a new tactical vehicle to help fight fires and rescue crash victims.
Tac-22 is its radio ID, since each emergency response vehicle is given an identifier so communications during an emergency can easily and accurately identify a dispatched vehicle and all its associated equipment and capabilities.
In this case, Tac-22 has one side equipped to respond to fight forest fires and the other set up to respond to vehicular extrications.
Windsor Fire Chief Kevin McAllister explained that the vehicle was obtained by using Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement money from Tropical Storm Irene. It was originally designed as a brush truck.
While visiting the facility in Florida where the vehicle was being assembled, it became evident that using it just for forest fire response was overkill, and the chief decided to have it outfitted for vehicle crash entrapment extrication.
The driver’s side compartments are filled with portable air tanks called Self Contained Breathing Apparatus or SCBA, rakes, shovels and other gear necessary to create fire breaks. The bed contains a reservoir and a pump which can draw either from the reservoir or from a secondary source such as a pond. There are compartments for extension ladders and additional fire hose.
The passenger side contains hydraulic equipment used in vehicular extrications such as wedges, the Hurst Jaws of Life extraction tool, air bags, cribbing, ropes and some hazmat cleanup supplies.
Chief McAllister describes the Tac-22 as a crucial piece of equipment for the emergency response team.
Next, McAllister is working on a proposal to retire two pieces of apparatus from 1991, and replace them with a new piece that will consolidate their capabilities. He explained that advancements in technology have reduced the size of equipment.
By consolidating vehicles, they reduce upfront as well as maintenance costs.
The Windsor Fire Department serves the town of Windsor, and provides emergency medical services for Windsor, West Windsor, and Hartland, and Cornish and Plainfield, NH.
Additionally, they share reciprocity agreements with towns are far away as Hanover, NH.
The department has both part- and full-time personnel, staffing the station 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Windsor Ambulance is staffed by certified paramedics, bringing advanced medical care to the citizens in the service region.
The department responds to almost 2,000 calls for service every year, the chief said.