New engine helps Fort Drum firefighters

Updated: Mar. 26, 2021 at 11:38 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Fort Drum Fire and Emergency Services has its hands on a brand new engine. But it’s not just a shiny new toy.

The sound of a siren doesn’t typically signal good news.

But in this moment, for Fort Drum firefighters, it does.

“We’ve been waiting on this apparatus for over a year,” said Fort Drum Fire Chief Jason Brunet.

He says the around $300,000 engine arrived last week and firefighters wasted no time getting it into the field.

“They had it in service within 24 hours. So, St. Patrick’s Day, it was in service and ran its first call,” said Brunet.

According to Brunet, the department has been down six rigs since 2019, so multiple engines had to respond to every call.

The new truck helps to fix that.

“It’s the missing piece that we had here at Fort Drum Fire and Emergency Services Division. All of our firefighters from this station can respond in this apparatus,” said Brunet.

It has the firefighters driving the engine excited too.

“We’re able to leave out of these doors and be confident in providing the best services to our community which is Fort Drum,” said Ray Ganem, firefighter.

The engine was designed specifically for Fort Drum and the north country. There are automatic tire chains attached to rear wheels that can be deployed to handle our harsh winter weather.

“Our driver operator flips a switch in the cab and the on spots drop down and out and then the chains spin in front of the tire so we don’t get stuck in the snow and ice conditions,” said Brunet.

Without half a dozen rigs for more than a year, Brunet says Fort Drum relied on the community to help fill the gap.

“Black River FIre Department was one of the key departments that helped us through,” he said.

This isn’t the last truck coming to post. Brunet says another engine just like it should be on it’s way next fiscal year.

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