Many of our citizens question us on the vehicles and equipment that your fire department owns and maintains. This article will describe the sophisticated equipment that is used by the BVFD to protect its citizens and property.
First, the most visible pieces of equipment, called “apparatus” in Fire Lingo, are the two fire trucks, Numbers 25 and 26. These trucks, one owned by the department and Emergency Services District #2, the other owned by the City of Blanco, are the primary symbols of the Fire Department. Each cost in the neighborhood of $300,000 and are primarily used for fighting structure fires. They have the capability of pumping a thousand gallons of water on a fire at a pressure of 1250 gallons per minute. To safely operate these complicated and highly technical pieces of equipment, it takes three firefighters, one operator (normally called the Engineer) and two fire fighters to man and handle the hose.
Since we are primarily a rural area, the next two vehicles are of vital importance to fire protection. They are the water trucks, or “tankers”, which may accompany a fire truck to the fire. Your fire department has two of these. One has a capacity of 3000 gallons of water, the other holds 1500 gallons. Once at the fire site, the tankers are attached to the main fire trucks through a hose to provide supplemental water, as needed, to attack the fire.
Next, your department has three “brush trucks”. These are used, primarily, for wildland and brush fires. They have a capacity of 200-300 gallons of water along with a pump, a small diameter reel, and a 200 foot hose. Like the main fire trucks, they too can be attached to a “tanker” to supply additional water in areas with a limited water supply.
Last, the department has a rescue truck that is equipped with specialized equipment for water, high angle, and other rescue operations. It also has the capability to fill breathing air cylinders used by our fire fighters as part of their Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) gear.
In summary, your fire department is responsible for operating and maintaining approximately $1.5 million worth of sophisticated and technical fire fighting apparatus. Along with these vehicles, there are essential pieces of equipment, such as the SCBA mentioned above, “bunker” gear (the suits you see fire fighters wearing), and a wide array of necessary tools used to fight fires or rescue endangered citizens. The department’s annual budget to fulfill its responsibilities, which also includes training, payroll for our paid personnel, etc. is over $200,000 per year. The Bottom Line: Good protection for minimal cost.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please call Ron Sallman at the Fire Station to discuss opportunities. That number is: 833-5009.