New Grayling Fire Department truck serves many purposes
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
A well needed and dual purpose truck recently went into service for the Grayling Fire Department.
The engine and rescue truck, which can be utilized for a myriad of uses, replaced a 1984 truck used to carry rescue equipment and a 1983 fire engine, which was used to extinguish structure fires.
“Both of those were really old trucks that had lived out their lives and they needed to be replaced,” said Grayling Fire Department Chief Russell H. Strohpaul Jr.
The new truck carries all of the equipment needed to deal with a structure fire, as well as the Jaws of Life and other rescue equipment.
“By doing that, we were able to save the taxpayers about $150,000 to $170,000 by combining it into one truck versus buying two separate trucks,” Strohpaul said.
Other equipment carried on the truck includes airbags that can lift vehicles and semi tractor-trailers, equipment for ice and water rescues, and a basket and ropes used to rescue people from tree stands or tall structures.
“It’s a very functional multi-purpose truck,” Strohpaul said.
The truck also has an oxygen tank that is capable of filling up to 50 portable airtanks when firefighters are on a scene for a long duration.
“Before we would have to come back and refill at the station with air,” Strohpaul said.
The truck came with rescue tools that are battery powered, so that firefighters are not constrained to an area with a line that is used to power the tools. The older tools were sold to another fire department in the area.
“That was kind of a bonus with this project,” Strohpaul said.
Strohpaul and Grayling City Manager-Police Chief Doug Baum strived to keep business local and worked with Mark Brown, the sales coordinator for CSI Emergency Apparatus, LLC, which is located in Grayling Industrial Park. It took 14 months from outlining the specifications for the truck to when it went into service.
The chassis for the truck was built at Spartan Emergency Response in Charlotte, Mich., while the back half of the truck was built at the company’s headquarters in South Dakota.
“We wanted to, if at all possible, get a piece that was built in Michigan, and more importantly we were able to work with the local vendor right here in town,” Strohpaul said. “They did a tremendous job right from the start.”
The Grayling Fire Department covers the City of Grayling and Grayling Charter Township.
The truck cost $534,000, and the purchase was financed through a loan from a local bank.
Strohpaul said that working with CSI Emergency Apparatus allowed the department to get a truck that fits its needs rather than a model that would be used in an urban setting.
“They’ve done an awesome job helping us and getting this lined up for us,” Strohpaul said. “It’s all a win-win for everybody involved.”