SUFFOLK, VIRGINIA (November 22, 2010) – The Suffolk Borough of Whaleyville welcomes back a key firefighting tool after a major overhaul. The Whaleyville Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) is putting its Brush Truck Unit back into service.
Whaleyville VFD Chief Chuck Brothers says the truck was originally bought in 1993, and was in good shape mechanically. But Brothers says the technology onboard was â€œoutdatedâ€, and it was cheaper to give the vehicle an â€œextreme makeoverâ€ than to purchase a new one.
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Chief Mark Outlaw said, â€œThe partnership between Suffolk Fire and Rescue and WVFD provides critical fire protection services to the borough and beyond. Weâ€™re pleased the Whaleyville VFD was able to upgrade a vital piece of firefighting equipment while saving money in doing so.â€ The truckâ€™s reconditioning cost $20,000, while buying a new truck meant spending $100,000.
The vehicle was sand blasted and repainted. All the emergency equipment was stripped and replaced with up-to-date technology that matches todayâ€™s standards. The vehicleâ€™s plumbing and pump systems were upgraded, allowing the water supply in the truckâ€™s tank to last longer by using a process which makes Class A foam.
Class A foam is a mechanically generated aggregation of bubbles having a lower density than water. The foam is made by introducing air into a mixture of water and foam concentrate. The bubbles adhere to the wildland fuels and gradually release the moisture they contain. The bubbly water absorbs heat more efficiently than water without bubbles.
The Brush Truck Unit responds to all brush fires in the Whaleyville Station 8 district, as well as any other needs throughout the southern end of Suffolk. The truck has given mutual aid to Gates County, North Carolina, most notably in February 2009. The Unit offers great flexibility on fire scenes as it can go where a fire truck cannot.
The Whaleyville VFD would like to thank Joe Asbell of Schadel Sheet Metal in Suffolk, and Jim Villers of Villers Vehicle Works in Windsor, Virginia, for donating their time and talents to seeing this project to completion.
About Whaleyville Volunteer Fire Department
Whaleyville Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) was organized in 1946 out of community concern. Through joint sponsorship by the local Ruritan Club and Town Council, this organization was formed. WVFD was chartered on April 19, 1954, with 26 members present. On this date, the constitution was drawn and signed by L. F. Owens, President, and J. C. Russell, Secretary.
Today, the department has 21 members on roll with all members certified by the State of Virginia as Fire Fighter I status, or enrolled in a class to become certified. The role of WVFD has changed over the years, with the biggest change coming in the mid 1990â€™s. The department took steps to become State Certified to perform EMS duties, which is a large part of Emergency Service today. This duty was enhanced in 1999, when WVFD partnered with the City of Suffolk to bring in personnel 24/7 to better handle this objective using WVFD personnel to support the overall public safety program through the City of Suffolk Department of Fire and Rescue.
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