New truck has W.Va. fire agency pumped up

January 02, 1998


Staff Writer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Martinsburg Fire Department has some of the latest firefighting equipment thanks to the donation of a 1998 Pierce Lance pumper by Westphal Hose Co. No. 5.

The new truck replaces a 1970 Mack fire engine that is being retired, according to Capt. David Brining. The Westphal Hose Co., which operates a supporting branch of the paid department, will make the lease payments for the truck over the next seven years with a $1 buyout at the end of the lease.

The new truck features a 1,500-gallon-per-minute pump and a 750-gallon tank. Brining said a pre-piped 40-gallon foam tank and pre-piped deck gun on the truck will allow those pieces of equipment to be brought into action much faster and give the department new firefighting capabilities.


The new truck will be stationed at the main fire station at 200 N. Raleigh St. and will be "the first due truck on all emergency calls," according to a statement from the department.

The truck also has an eight-person, air-conditioned cab and two NightScan extending light towers.

"You can pretty well light up a block with them," Brining said.

A committee of officers from the department and Westphal developed the specifications for the new truck, according to the department.

Westphal also purchased new radios for the truck and four other fire department vehicles. The new radios will allow firefighters using portable radios to communicate with the trucks from inside buildings, according to the department.

Westphal will spend a total of about $350,000 on the trucks and radios, the department statement said.

The city is spending another $68,000 to equip the truck, upgrade the department's air pack and filling system and for the purchase of new thermal-imaging equipment.

The Cairns Iris System can be fitted to a firefighter's helmet, according to the department. It will allow a firefighter to see in a smoke-filled room and locate victims. It can also be used outside a building to determine the source and extent of a fire by translating heat patterns into a thermal image.

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