CONSTANCE BAY – It was a training night surprise for the volunteer firefighters of Ottawa Fire Station 63 as the crew was introduced to Brush Truck 63.
Okay, it wasn’t a total surprise, as the crew had the new tool for about a week to train with, but “they’re brand new, put in to service today,” District 6 fire Chief Bill Bell told West Carleton Online from the hall on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
The crew also had the Greely fire station brush truck on hand to help with the night’s task – standardizing the layout and make sure equipment is placed in the same spot in the trucks.
This task means any Ottawa Fire Service firefighter can use the truck and know exactly where every piece of equipment is when speed is of the essence.
The truck is a heavily modified Ford SuperDuty king cab that can hold five firefighters, carry 330 gallons of water and has “foam capabilities.”
“Its primary use is grass, brush and forest fires,” Bell said. “But it’s very versatile. Any call really. It can be a support vehicle as well.”
It can also be used for search and rescue and has two lines (hoses) with one being high pressure.
One neat-o attachment is a remotely controlled water sprayer attached to the front of the truck.
“It’s a spray as you go, nozzle,” Bell said. “It protects the crews if they have to walk in or out of a forest fire. It’s added efficiency as you don’t have to lay down lines to spray water.”
Bush Truck 63 has aggressive tires, a high clearance and four-wheel drive.
“Constance Bay has always been the brush truck station,” Bell said.
And it’s a big upgrade over the old brush truck.
The former brush truck was 13 years old and was really just a converted City of Ottawa truck.
“Now all our equipment is enclosed which will protect it from the elements and add to its useful lifespan,” Bell said.
The truck is used “as needed but is first dispatched for grass fires,” Bell said.
The truck will be ready to go, and the crew fully trained on it by the time grass fire season arrives next spring. Bell says there are four brush trucks dispatched to the rural areas and “a fifth one is coming to Corkery early next year,” Bell said.