Craig Fire/Rescue to display new fire trucks Thursday |

Craig Fire/Rescue to display new fire trucks Thursday

Engines equipped to fight wildland, structural fires

Bridget Manley

Craig Fire/Rescue bought two new wildland/urban interface engines last month. The engines were purchased using funds from Department of Local Affairs grants and a mil levy increase that voters approved in November 2006.

Formally, they’re known as Engine 2 and Engine 3.

But Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Bill Johnston has another name for the two latest additions to the fire department’s arsenal of flame-fighting tools.

He calls them “The Twins.”

Craig Fire/Rescue acquired the identical engines early last month. They were purchased using funds from the Department of Local Affairs and a mill levy increase voters approved in November 2006.

The two engines will be on display from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Craig Fire Station, 419 Yampa Ave. Residents can grab a hamburger or hot dog at the event, but Johnston hopes residents will take away more from the event than a full stomach.

“We thought it would be appropriate and responsible for us to invite the taxpayers to come see what they bought,” he said.

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Each truck cost $315,575. They each can store 600 gallons of water and can pump 1,000 gallons a minute.

The two new trucks, also called wildland/urban interface engines, represent cutting-edge technology that allows firefighters to combat blazes outside of a traditional urban setting.

At first glance, the new engines may not look much different than other fire trucks in the fleet.

Like a standard city engine, the trucks are fully equipped with tools to fight structural fires. Among those tools are self-contained breathing apparatuses, or air packs that allow firefighters to breathe in smoke-filled atmospheres.

However, the new engines also have a few features not found on a typical city fire truck.

They are equipped with four-wheel drive and can fight wildland fires, much like Bureau of Land Management fire engines can.

Engines 2 and 3 can fight structural and wilderness fires in areas outside of city limits. In the past, when fire flared up in these areas, Johnston would have to send out two engines, one for each type of fire.

Now, however, he only has to assign one of the two new engines to fight two different types of blazes.

“It’s cutting edge,” Johnston said.

The engines are the first two purchases from the mil levy increase. A third fire engine is scheduled to arrive in Craig in January. When it comes, Johnston plans to host another open house to show it to the public. For now, however, he’s focused on getting ready for Thursday’s event.

“There will be two pretty trucks and smoke coming from a grill,” Johnston said. “You can’t miss it.

If you go

What: Craig Fire/Rescue fire engine display and barbecue

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Craig Fire Station, 419 Yampa Ave.

Cost: Free. For more information, call Craig Fire/Rescue at 824-5914.