The Turlock Fire Department held the official dedication Thursday morning for the Rosenbauer Engines 32 and 34, becoming the most state-of-the-art firefighting engines to join the fleet.
The two engines were custom designed by the Turlock Fire Apparatus Committee consisting of Battalion Chief Mike Harcksen, Capt. David Mallory, and Engineers Eric Boyd and Pete Becchetti. It was a two-year project working with local Rosenbauer representative Ken Howenstine and the end result are two engines that are designed to meet the current demands of firefighting tactics and medical emergencies.
“Building a fire engine is like building a custom home,” said Harcksen. “It is unique to what we specified.”
Squad 32 was ordered to replace the ever-failing engine assigned to Station 2 that spent more time getting repairs than in service. It still has a few final fittings to undergo before it’s ready, but Engine 34 went into service immediately after the dedication ceremony.
Squad 32 has some custom features that will allow it to respond to special assignments, including confined spaces rescues and vehicle extractions. It came in at a cost of $650,000.
“Squad 32 will be the workhorse of the department,” said Turlock Fire Chief Robert Talloni.
Both of the new vehicles were designed to help firefighters respond more effectively to the growing number of emergency medical calls. The various compartments allow for more emergency medical equipment and larger extraction tools.
For fighting fires, the two engines feature an “engineer’s office” on the driver’s side of the vehicles, which includes water pump gauges and flow readers that will allow the engineers to monitor the pressure and how many gallons of water are being used each minute to fight the fire. Harcksen said these types of improvements have a significant impact on the speed and effectiveness of fighting fires.
Before arriving in Turlock, Engine 34 was taken on a road trip to various points around the country to give other fire departments a look at the customized features. The total cost of the engine was $598,000.
Both vehicles are expected to last 15 to 20 years. The body of the engines, known as the tool box, has a lifetime transferable warranty, meaning it can be taken off and placed on a new vehicle.
Squad 32 will be at Station 2 on S. Walnut Road and Engine 34 is now at Station 4 on N. Walnut Road.