The Milton Fire Department shows off a new truck

The Milton Fire Department has put into service the newest addition to its fleet: Engine 85-3.

The $636,000 truck was custom-built by a Florida-based fire truck manufacturer and is what is known as a pumper truck. The best way to think about it is the truck is made to fight structural fires, Fire Chief Johnny Hopkins said. The 85-3 engine will replace the 85-5 engine built in 2001 and being retired from service.

The truck is just over 9 feet high and approximately 34 feet long. Its most notable feature is the rotating compact water cannon on top which can shoot water in any direction at a distance of about 60 to 70 yards. The cannon can fire 1,500 gallons of water per minute and has a reserve tank that can hold 1,000 gallons.

The truck was delivered to the department on August 8. Over the past month or so, officers have been training on it. On Sept. 11, firefighters worked to maneuver the truck through some tight areas in Milton, including the driving lanes at Milton Elementary School and through Cannery Village. The training then moved to the vacant lot across from the fire hall on Front Street, where firefighters practiced delivering a water cannon.

Hopkins said the department has three main firefighting vehicles: a rescue truck, which is used primarily for life-saving uses, such as freeing people from car accidents; A ladder truck allows firefighters to climb heights; A structural fire truck used to fight building fires.

The truck was built to department specifications. One big feature is a lowered hose bed at the back of the truck which will enable firefighters to quickly pull and attach hoses. The administration member who worked closely with the truck manufacturer was Assistant Secretary Billy Millman.

The truck has eight different hose connections, including hydrant lines and hoses that are used for different types of fires, Millman said. The water cannon is controlled by a computer board located on the side of the truck that can control the flow of the cannon. The truck’s 70′ cab accommodates six firefighters. The department could have gotten a truck with a 96-inch cab, but chose a smaller truck to make the truck smaller and easier to maneuver, Millman said.

“I wanted to make it as easy as I could for our firefighters, just make it firefighter friendly and easy on our guys,” he said. “I’m stoked. I can’t wait to get him into service. It’ll be good for Milton.”

(tags for translation) Milton Fire Department showcases new truck

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