Fire department welcomes new truck

THE TRACY FIRE DEPARTMENT is more than happy to welcome its newest member — an HV International pumper truck that replaces an old truck that was damaged in the 2018 flood. The new truck offers more mobility and some state-of-the-art features as well. Photos / Per Peterson

By Per Peterson

Fighting fires and making rescues along the highway is never easy, but the newest addition to the Tracy Fire Department will go a long way in making Tracy firefighters’ job a little bit easier.

The fire department recently welcomed a new HV International pumper rescue truck to replace the one they lost to electrical damage during the flood of 2018. And while there might be less physical space from front to back on the new truck, there are important upgrades as well.

“It is shorter by about five feet,” said Tracy Fire Chief Dale Johnson III. “There’s less space on the new truck, because we wanted to be able to get it in a field if we wanted to stabilize something. I wanted to be able to get down the railroad tracks if there was an issue. And it’s still big enough to act as a barricade at a car accident.”

Johnson said the most important quality the new truck brings — besides the fact that it’s the only one in the fire departments’ arsenal besides regular pick-ups that has four-wheel drive — is its mobility in rural areas. The truck is shorter in length than other fire department vehicles, which Johnson believes will benefit the fire department.

“It’s more maneuverable,” Johnson said. “Last winter when everybody was plowing roads 24/7, getting anywhere with our bigger trucks was very challenging. Our vehicle stabilization was a crew cab pick-up that got damaged in the flood that had a winch on it.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.