By Margaret Stadtwald
On February 23rd of this year, the Muscatine Fire Department placed an order for a new fire truck. After three and a half months of waiting, the Muscatine Fire Department finally brought it home on July 13th, 2018.
While waiting for their new vehicle, firefighters participated in trainings to prepare to operate it. These involved eight taking a course in driver/operator pumper skills, and another two learning driver/operator aerial techniques. According to Assistant Fire Chief Mike Newman, the driver/operator pumper training taught the basics of, “how to drive a truck and how to get the water where it needs to go.” The second class served as an extension of the first, teaching firefighters how to set up and position the ladders. The participants all took state certification tests to complete their training and update their qualifications. The department hopes they can now use their increased knowledge and skills to best utilize the new truck’s capabilities.
On Wednesday, July 11th, a crew from Muscatine drove to Appleton, Wisconsin, where Pierce Manufacturing built the truck, to perform final inspections before picking it up. “When we went up there, we spent a day and a half looking over every inch to make sure it matched our specifications,” stated Newman. After identifying several small changes they wanted made to the truck to make it more user friendly, the crew explained them to Pierce’s overnight crew. They then worked through the night to make the adjustments. The next morning, the fire crew made a final inspection before signing off on it and driving it back to Muscatine.
While the truck itself came ready to run, the fire department will not begin using it until this Friday. Before putting the truck in action, representatives from Pierce will come to Muscatine on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to spend eight hours with each shift teaching them how to correctly operate the new truck. Once this process finishes, firefighters will press the new truck into action and begin its long career of keeping Muscatine safe.