By NATHAN GREGORY
The Bell Schoolhouse Volunteer Fire Department recently received a new truck to replace a 1993 pumper.
Oktibbeha County Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan said the company is now equipped with a Rosenbauer truck with a 1,000 gallon-per-minute pump with a 1,250 gallon water tank, complete with compartments to haul necessary tools such as hoses and ladders.
The $219,000 truck was made available with a matching grant of $70,000 from the Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Assistance Program, Rosenhan said.
“The new truck was tested by the Mississippi Fire Ratings Bureau for pump capacity and function,” he said. “Last Saturday, we had a training session for the guys to run it because it’s different from the older truck. It’s tested and ready for service.”
At maximum capacity, the truck has a discharge pressure of 150 pounds per square inch. Rosenhan said the minimum expected life for the truck is 15 years.
“We could extend the life of the truck if we meet certain criteria at the end of the (15-year) period in terms of testing, overhaul and records,” he said. “It can be extended on a year-to-year basis after that depending on that criteria.”
Bell Schoolhouse Fire Company Chief Wade Howell said he’s pleased to see the department has a new primary truck.
“It carries 250 gallons more water and has a higher capacity pump. From a safety standpoint you have what’s known as a walk-through control panel that allows operators to visibly see the fireground better,” Howell said. “We’re always glad to see a new apparatus come in that improves over what we had. Hopefully it will improve our capabilities as far as firefighting. At some point we hope (it will help us) to do an insurance rate reduction; the better rating we have, the better insurance rates are for the homeowners (in our area).”