FT. SHANNON- The Shiloh County Fire Department placed a new specialized squad unit in service this morning. Squad 7 has replaced Engine 11 at Station 1 to improve firefighter safety.
The fire department held a special ceremony at Fire Station 1 today to mark the occasion, including the traditional “pushing” ceremony. Firefighters from the company pushed the new Squad truck into the station for the first time.
Fire Chief Marc French said, “We implemented this apparatus to make our fire scenes safer. Every year, numerous line of duty deaths occur because firefighters perform search and rescue operations without a hose. With the recent studies that Chapman Safety Engineering has done, we see just how vital it is to put water on the fire, and we want our firefighters to do that. This rig allows our firefighters to do just that.”
In addition to these new tasks on fires, the new truck can handle many other types of emergencies. Deputy Fire Chief of Special Operations Brian Hickey said, “With this new squad, we will not only be able to respond to fires, but also car accidents, technical rescues, and all types of incidents. We wanted to be able to support our busy rescue companies while keeping at least two engines in the downtown area.”
The truck even made its first call before the ceremony began. The crew responded for a minor accident in Oxnard. SCFD Lieutenant Nicholas LeBlanc said, “This Squad will be very busy. We will make calls all over the county with this truck. We have a terrific crew and we’re happy to serve the citizens of Shiloh County however we can.”
LeBlanc also said that the crew was anticipating their first fire with the new unit. He said, “The crew and I want to show off our skills and prove the worth of this new unit. We were formed to save lives in fires, and we’re looking forward to being able to save lives with this new unit.”
Deputy Chief Hickey, who was in charge of the committee to purchase the truck said that the department received the truck about a week ago from Pierce Manufacturing in Wisconsin.
Chief French said that the department is also considering adding a second specialized unit to Station 1 with Squad 7, but that it was still in the planning stages.