The Ponderosa Fire Department debuted a new fire truck on Wednesday.
The sleek, smooth, cherry red refurbished 2008 Model 1 Structure engine is a proud edition to the growing Belmont Outpost fleet.
The truck has twice the pumping capacity of the department’s old engine and has more than half a mile of hose attached.
Ponderosa Fire Captain Mike Allen said, “It has a huge front bumper that you can put a hose in. It allows for quick strikes and rapid deployment.” “We have about 750 gallons of water in this truck, which is about 250 gallons more than a normal city truck.
Equipped with modern headsets that allow firefighters to communicate via the rumbling of the motor, the engine is suitable for accommodating three firefighters.
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“Moving to a three-man engine was a big deal for us. “By having a third party on the truck, not only will firefighters be even safer, but we will be able to better serve our communities and residents.”
It’s not just the size of the engineer that’s growing in the Ponderosa Fire District. Antonides said he saw the community nearly double in size during his tenure.
Belmont and Parkes are still rural, but their populations are booming, Antonides said, adding responsibility for scaling fire stations to meet the changing needs of their communities.
The contractor will break ground on the fire station extension in June, which will include a community room for 30 people.
In addition to the new engine, the Ponderosa Fire fleet will soon be expanded by about three more vehicles. A new Chief of Staff and Battalion Commander’s vehicle arrives at Belmont Station and is equipped for emergency response and field fire support. A new Type 6 bush truck is also on order and will be in service in the next few weeks, Antonides said.
Antonides said his department is also taking steps to respond to emergencies as quickly as possible.
On May 2, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors approved $5,177.57 to fund community activities aimed at helping first responders find homes faster.
In the coming days and weeks, the Ponderosa Fire Department will be removing the names of local residents who require reflective address signs on their properties. Eventually, firefighters on duty will install these signs for free.
“With the growth we’ve had so far, some people don’t have address signs,” Antonides said.
This isn’t a brand new program, Antonides told the Arizona Daily Sun. Over the years, Ponderosa Fire has helped citizens pay for reflective address signs. The decision to seek funding and revive the program was a direct reflection of the growth and development of the region.
Still, as Ponderosa Fire remains rural, GPS is known to occasionally lead travelers astray. Few street lights. Even if the road is well lit, it can be dim.
For all these reasons, reflective address signs can be a very important tool for first responders, Antonides said.
“Sometimes circumstances don’t match our computers for us, the sheriff’s department, and the ambulance to find these addresses. It’s very easy to do,” Antonides added. “If we have to go back through the driveway, that small amount of time is very important for the patient.”
The fire district received sufficient funding to install approximately 200 signs in the area. If you are a Belmont or park resident and need an address marker, you can call the Ponderosa Fire District at 928-773-8933 to have your name on the installation list.
Sierra Ferguson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.