COMMERCE – The Commerce Fire Department received its new ladder fire truck Friday, and hopes to have it fully operational within a couple weeks.
The 75-foot Quint, or ladder truck, will allow the fire department to fight taller structure fires, and improve firefighting capabilities overall.
Firefighters are now being trained on the different aspects of the truck, including how to properly operate the new compressed air foam (CAFS) feature.
The feature delivers fire retardant foam and will help firefighters use less water to put out a fire. The foam blankets the fuel, thereby reducing the fuel's capacity to seek out a source of oxygen. The CAFS solution adheres to ceilings and walls, more readily aiding in rapid heat reduction.
Funding for the truck is a joint university-city effort, with A&M-Commerce funding $220,000, or one-third the cost of the $670,000 truck. The agreement from both sides came more than a year ago under the direction of then Fire Chief Tommy Eaton.
The truck is said to go a long way toward lowering the fire department's Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating. The rating is based on a variety of criteria that are aimed at accurately measuring the quality of public fire protection. The city's current rating sits at a four; with the best possible rating being a one.
If a fire district improves its ISO rating, homeowners and businesses in the community often save money on their insurance premiums.
The City hopes to have an open house to showcase the new truck, as well as an information session regarding severe weather, in the coming weeks.