SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - Five Cities Fire Authority Fire Chief Steve Lieberman is excited as his fire authority just got a way more reliable ride.
"Unfortunately we've had instances where these vehicles that are more than 20 years old have had mechanical issues in route to an emergency incident those types of things are what drove the policy decisions to replace the equipment and allow us to buy the new fire engines," he explains.
But securing the $580,000 it took to replace the 20 year old fire engine and begin building a second new engine took some time, with Arroyo Grande, Oceano and Grover Beach all having to contribute.
"Each community deliberated on this and secured funding out of their general funds to provide the money we needed to finance and pay partial payments for the brand new engines," says Lieberman.
The new engine has features typical of what you might see on a wild land fire engine which is going to be extremely helpful this fire season.
"It's replacing an engine that didn't have foam capabilities - foam mixed with water helps keep the fuels from getting the oxygen it needs to burn and secondly this vehicle has the ability to pump and roll which means it can actually move with a firefighter operating a line off the bumper tray," Lieberman tells us.
And most importantly for the firefighters themselves, the new truck has a new design that will help prevent injuries while they're wearing nearly 100 pounds of equipment.
"Now with this design - the hose lays are right at the appropriate level for them to walk up to the engine and grab them and walk away so back injuries, knee injuries, leg injuries, neck injuries, those are all mitigated largely because of re-positioning the ergonomics of the tools that they most often use," says Lieberman.
The new fire engine is going to the Grover Beach Fire Station and will be out in the community in about two weeks. The next new engine will be heading to Oceano and you can expect to see that early next year.