On a recent trip to the Fire Engine Doctor's recently, I found exactly one new engine being readied for delivery. Of course I felt a need to take some pictures and share them.
This engine has been at the doctor's for several weeks getting equipment, mounting brackets and storage accessories installed. After all of that is done, it will be accepted and off to the radio shop it will go.
It is a pretty conventional engine, just a few things that are sort of unique to it and the agency where it will be put to work.
Top mount pump panels are not that common around here, but we love them. As 12 of our 14 stations spend a lot of time on the freeway, we like the protection and the visibility that the top mount panel provides the engineer. Every structure engine that we have purchased since I came on in 1983 has had one, four engines prior to that were so equipped. I can't think of any agencies within a couple of hundred miles of here that use them, it is part of our culture.
This engine is going to replace a '90s vintage E-1, one which is rather tired. The E-1 will be retained as a reserve engine, a role that it will keep for five years or more. We just can't keep enough reserve engines around here, we have a few that are almost 25 years old. A reserve engine's life around here is not an easy one, they are in service more often than not.
We like electro-mechanical sirens, especially the Federal Q2B. Although I have no hard data to back it up, it is my experience that the Q2B is louder than the electronic sirens. I was lucky, our units were equipped with both. I usually used the electronic siren as a turn it on and forget it device, useful when my face was buried in the map or pre-plan book. The Q2B was used as necessary. Of course the air horn was liberally applied as required. I miss mashing the foot switch and hearing that Q2B howl.
This will be our first engine with the mandated high visibility paint pattern on the rear end, though the haz-mat unit is so equipped. Meh.
This will also be the first engine in the last 30+ years which is not equipped with a Detroit Diesel engine. Apparently, Detroit is out of the fire apparatus engine market, so a Cummins engine it is.
The crews at 2s will enjoy this engine, I am quite sure that it will provide many years of service.
Thanks for reading,