SHEFFIELD - The Sheffield-Wheelock Fire Department has received some assistance for payment on an upgraded firetruck. The United States Department of Agriculture has awarded a $20,000 grant for the refurbished tanker, a much-needed improvement over the station's current aging truck.
A tanker is a specialized fire appliance used to transport large amounts of water to firefighting areas, and are most necessary in rural areas that lack quick access to a fire hydrant. The upgraded tanker for the department will cost nearly $50,000, but the old truck was traded in, allowing the new tanker to become more affordable.
Marc Brown, Chief of the Sheffield-Wheelock Fire Department noted, "When there's a fire or emergency, we all come together. So the tanker will be used throughout the area of Caledonia."
The newly acquired truck creates benefits for future operations. It can hold up to 2,000 gallons of water, which is a 500 gallon increase from the previous apparatus. The tanker can also form a mobile pond, where water is stored when excess amounts are needed. Water can be dumped from both sides of the truck, including the rear end. Gauges that track water pressure and levels can be accessed from both inside and outside of the cabin.
Perhaps the most important benefit, Brown added, "The tanker is not only good for us, but the whole communities around us."