Fort McCoy News October 24, 2014

Fire Department adds new truck, fire-safety trailer

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

The capabilities for the Fort McCoy Fire Department of the Directorate of Emergency Services have grown with the recent addition of some new equipment.

Photo of fire truck
A new Oshkosh Striker fire truck, designated as "Crash 12," is in use at the Fort McCoy Fire Department.

The department received a new 2014 Oshkosh Striker six-by-six truck, designated "Crash 12," that will serve at the fire station at the Fort McCoy Airport.

The truck capabilities, according to Oshkosh Corp. specifications, feature state-of-the-art fire suppression and advanced safety systems as well as many other innovations. The truck allows firefighters to have up to 600 feet of 1¾-inch hose at their disposal during a fire response. The hoses are accessible from either side of the vehicle.

"It's a crash truck that will take care of all the emergencies on the runway at the airport," said Ryan Wilke, firefighter and emergency medical technician who helps care for the truck. "It can hold up to 3,000 gallons of water, which gives us tremendous capability."

The department's current crash truck is nearly 30 years old and only has a 1,000-gallon water storage capability. "The new Striker is like three times the truck over the old one," Wilke said.

Additionally, the Striker is designed to be ready for the latest technologies still under development, including "ultra high-pressure water, compressed air foam systems and clean agent delivery systems."

"The truck also can hold a crew of up to five people," Wilke said. "The Army is purchasing a number of these trucks, and we are among the first to get one."

Photo of safety trailer
People line up to use Fort McCoy Fire Department's new fire safety trailer during a community event in Tomah, Wis.

The fire department also received a new fire-safety trailer to use in its efforts to educate the public about fire prevention. Fire Inspector Curt Ladwig explained what comes with the new trailer.

"It's equipped with kitchen-fire and bedroom-fire scenario areas," Ladwig said. "Participants who use the trailer use laser fire extinguishers to extinguish a fire on the stove, a trashcan fire along with a cabinet fire in the kitchen area. They also learn how to safely extinguish an oven fire."

In the bedroom scenario area, Ladwig said the trailer has a burning trash can, a smoking electrical outlet, a heated door and smoke coming from under the door. "That teaches the participants to stuff a towel or something to block the smoke from entering before they exit through the bedroom window," he said.
Ladwig said they can put in other items to the trailer as well.

"We can add, at a later date, a microwave oven and a toaster that also catch on fire," Ladwig said. "We also can add a severe-weather package that adds a whole new set of scenario possibilities."

The fire-safety trailer has seen significant use in October as part of National Fire Prevention Month events on Fort McCoy as well as in eight local communities.

For more information about the fire department, call 608-388-2508.