Fire trucks undergo annual testing
By Karen Hall
If you passed the corner of 2nd Avenue North and Water Street on Wednesday, you probably noticed an unusual number of fire trucks, and some water running across the parking lot and into the gutter.
Lewisburg Fire Chief Larry Williams explained the occasion was the annual certification of fire trucks. All the county volunteer fire departments were invited to bring their trucks for testing, and by having it all done in one place on the same day, everyone saved money.
Here to do the testing was Jayson Greer of Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus LLC of Union Grove, Ala. The company specializes in sales of new and used fire apparatus of all kinds, and also services equipment for fire departments all over the region.
"They do a good job," said Williams. "They do a lot of Lewisburg's service work."
Greer's truck and tank were hooked up to a fire hydrant to fill the tank with water, but it was a closed system, so the water was recycled, and little was wasted. Williams explained on a previous occasion that fire hoses could be attached and tightened so there were no leaks, but that is not what fire fighters are trained to do. Instead, all connections are hand tight, so if the fire truck has to leave in a hurry on an emergency call, the fire fighters are not stuck looking for a wrench to open the connections.
Working with two trucks at a time, all the pumpers were tested for specified amounts of time at different rates of flow, and pressures. The relief valves and governors were also tested. The trucks themselves were kept running the whole time -- for about an hour -- and this tested everything about them: engines, transmissions, cooling system, and electrical system.
The fire fighters could drive away knowing their truck was in good working order and well able to withstand the demands put on it fighting a fire.
The satisfactory annual inspection of fire trucks is part of a community's ISO rating, Williams said.
According to their website, "Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus is one of the world's largest used fire truck sales and service companies. Based just outside of Huntsville, Ala., the company has 45 full-time personnel occupying over 12,000 square feet which includes office space and 14 apparatus service bays, dedicated to the refurbishment of used fire apparatus. Our campus houses the nation's largest on-site inventory of used fire trucks, used rescue trucks, used aerial trucks, including ladders and platforms, as well as other emergency fire apparatus ... In addition to fire truck sales, BMFA's mechanics, who are Emergency Vehicle Technician certified, perform pump tests, general repairs, preventative maintenance, and body, collision, and paint work on over 500 used fire trucks every year."