Fully loaded

Probationary firefighter Bryan Colvin, left, and Driver/Operator Lynne Demento climb down from the new fire truck after Demento trained Colvin on the ladder operation. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer

The Clovis Fire Department is now the proud owner of a customized, aerial fire truck, department officials said.

Its most obvious features are a longer ladder with an aerial spray application and larger pump than any of the other trucks in the fleet. This will provide a greater stand-off distance and better water coverage, according to Capt. Rick Potter.

Expected to last a minimum of 20 years in service, the truck came with a price tag of $850,000, Clovis Fire Chief Ray Westerman reported.

Westerman termed the purchase a major investment in fire protection for the community.

Specially ordered, the truck was designed to suit local firefighting needs, Potter said.

“It’s a very nice truck,” he said. “It’s rather unique.”

Department personnel collaborated on the design and selection, Potter said.
“We took some of the younger guys that are going to be here for a long time (to the plant during the production process). They’re the ones that are going to be dealing with it. It’s going to be their fire truck.”

Computerized, the truck does its diagnostics and some self-maintenance, like greasing its chassis. It also won’t let its operators compromise preprogrammed safety parameters.

“If somebody tries to do something silly with the truck, the truck will say, ‘Unh-unh, we’re not doing that.’ The truck has parameters that it must function in for safety reasons,” he said, explaining the truck will instruct operators on actions needed to correct problems.

The color selection — it is the first red fire truck in Clovis in about 75 years — was put to a vote, Potter said.

“We’ve been through this before. It seems like the younger guys want the fire trucks to be red and the older guys like the tradition of Clovis being different (with the ‘Clovis Cream’ paint scheme),” he said.

This time however, the majority voted in favor of bringing back red, he told.

Name: Pierce Quantum 100-foot Platform Aerial Fire Truck

Cost: $850,000

—Independent front suspension
—Advanced electronics system
—Anti-lock brakes
—Tire pressure monitoring
—Fold-down steps at the door
—Self-greasing chassis—100-foot ladder with platform — “Not for the vertical reach because we don’t have a lot of tall buildings. It’s the horizontal reach we needed.” — Capt. Rick Potter.
—Increased storage compartment space and room for more ground ladders than other vehicles in the fleet.

Miles to the gallon. The fuel will last about four hours with the truck’s pump in use

Passenger capacity of cab

Driver/operators who will be trained on driving and maintaining the truck before it is put in use

Water tank capacity in gallons

Rate in gallons per minute of water pump, a 25 percent increase over other trucks in the department’s fleet

Weight in pounds fully loaded