Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue welcomed the first of four new fire engines coming to the district, commemorating the purchase with a “push-in” ceremony for the apparatus in Woodland.
On May 25, CCFR brought in the new engine built by Wisconsin-based Pierce Manufacturing, which replaced an engine built by the same company in 2000 for frontline service. Alongside safety features seen in a new car, the engine has a 730-gallon water tank, 20 gallons of foam for flammable liquid fires, three ladders of different sizes and more than 2,500 feet of fire hose, a release from the department stated.
The new engine can pump 1,500 gallons of water per minute, the release added, and carries Advanced Life Support medical equipment and hydraulic tools to cut into vehicles involved in serious crashes.
Those additions follow a trend in the types of services CCFR has provided over the past 20 years, the release stated, making engines a multi-purpose vehicle to handle medical emergencies as well as blazes.
The engine that’s being replaced will be put into “reserve status,” which means it will only be used if a frontline engine is undergoing maintenance or repairs, the release stated. CCFR will sell its most worn-out reserve fire engine.
As for the push-in ceremony itself, the tradition dates back to the late 1800s during the time of hand-drawn pumpers and horse-drawn equipment, the release stated. Because horses couldn’t easily back the equipment into a station, the firefighters disconnected the animals and pushed the equipment into the bay themselves.
CCFR Chief John Nohr thanked the district’s commissioners for supporting the purchase of additional fire engines and said the district is excited to update its fleet.
“Many of our frontline engines and trucks are getting tired,” Nohr said.
The district’s current frontline ladder truck is 17 years old and the reserve one is 26 years old, the release stated. The district will next focus on specifications for a new ladder truck in anticipation of the opening of a 14-story hotel tower at ilani in 2023.
The department plans to put all of its four new engines into service over the next 15 months, the release stated. Three of the engines were purchased by the district itself. The fourth engine will come from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe through a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant, the release stated.
Though Woodland was only recently annexed into the fire district following voter approval in 2020, the city has received fire protection services through a contract with CCFR since 2013 when the city’s own department dissolved and its firefighters joined the district.
CCFR Firefighter Kevin Saari responded to the first incident the outgoing 2000 engine was sent to, and served on that engine’s last response the day the department welcomed the new apparatus.
“We had that rig in service for 21 years,” Saari said. “I’m glad to be a part of the first incident on the new fire engine, but I don’t think I’ll be running the last incident on it.”