Bismarck Rural Fire upgrades water supply capacity with new truck

Published: Dec. 18, 2019 at 6:16 PM CST
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When Bismarck Rural responds, the first engine that leaves the station carries 1,000 gallons of water.

The second also brings 1,000 gallons, but the addition of the new truck will now take the number two spot and will arrive with triple the amount of water.

The firefighters at Bismarck Rural cover a total of 450 square miles of rural North Dakota.

"The city of Lincoln is the only area that has a good fire hydrant system that we can use to where we don't need to take our water with us," said Dustin Theurer, assistant chief.

The remainder of the calls are dependent on the supply the department brings with them.

"This truck carries 3,000 gallons, so basically with our first two trucks on scene, we went from 2,000 gallons to 4,000 gallons," said Theurer

The new rig was customized to the department’s needs, and after a year and a half of planning and designing by the department truck committee, new capabilities were delivered.

"It has technology on it like we haven’t had before, it brings the ability to deliver the right amount of people to the scene for us, it brings a capacity that we didn't have before with the other tankers that we didn't have before," said Michael Voight, fire chief.

Firefighters dependent on the truck say the new addition bring reassurance in a moment when seconds count the most.

"It’s nice knowing that once that's there, we're going to have the water and the man power to basically handle any situation that we're going to run into,” said Tim Maloney, 12-year firefighter.

The new truck, complete with the latest innovations, has a cost that is almost half of other engines.

"The assistant chief and I are both looking at how it turns out really closely, because we have some very strong feelings that if this works out to be the way we think its going to be, this is going to set the standard for what we start doing here in the future," said Voight

Making changes to a response, delivering lifesaving relief.

The Bismarck Rural Fire Department put the truck into service on Dec. 3.

It completed its first call earlier this week.