Shawnee Township debuts new emergency vehicles

Nov. 29—SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — The Shawnee Township Fire Department has put into service two new vehicles to better serve the community in the past three weeks.

Shawnee Fire Platoon Chief John Norris said Tuesday that Medic 12, a new ambulance, went into service about three weeks ago, while Engine 2 went into service on Saturday. Both vehicles have advantages in technology to improve fire and rescue responses and the safety of fire personnel.

Fire Chief Todd Truesdale said the department was able to add the vehicles following the passing of a levy in November 2021.

The fire truck, a 2022 Pierce Enforcer Rescue Pumper, costs $810,000 and can hold 1,000 gallons of water, compared to 850 in the department's current trucks. It uses a Paccar Diesel engine and can move 1,500 gallons per minute with its pump.

The ambulance, a 2022 Ford F550 4×4 Braun Ambulance, cost $270,000 and took two years from being ordered to its manufacture due to supply chain issues.

Truesdale said the ambulance has an improved ride system for the comfort of its patients and is overall safer than previous vehicles. It has Ultraviolet lights and a UV heating system to kill germs.

Truesdale said the fire truck is a rescue engine and has more safety features for personnel. It holds more equipment and features more space, allowing the department to send one truck instead of two in some situations.

The truck uses a remote-controlled steamer system, shortening the time it takes for personnel to prepare to extinguish a fire.

Truesdale said the department used local businesses to finish up the vehicles after they arrived. He said the department is excited to "provide better service for the community."

With inflation and supply chain issues, Truesdale said the cost of repairs on the department's vehicles has doubled, and acquiring new vehicles such as these takes much longer than previously.

Norris said the vehicles are made-to-order, and the fire truck would take about four years from being ordered to completion, and two years for the ambulance.

Truesdale and Norris said the station often gets back-to-back calls and has been "crazy busy" lately, so having another ambulance has proven worthwhile.

Truesdale said he is excited to better serve Shawnee Township with the new vehicles.