Early Tuesday morning Caney Creek Fire Chief Raymond Flannelly and two other firefighter drove one of their first rescue trucks acquired from Needham Fire Department several years ago to Houston. The purpose of the trip was to load the truck on an 18-wheeler to it’s new home in Yarnell, Arizona which is not far from Phoenix.
A ramp was needed to load the truck and the only one available was close to Bush Airport. With the 18-wheeler backed to the dock the rescue/pumper was easily driven up onto the bed of it.
Earlier this year several new trucks were purchased by Caney Creek Fire Department which went through a name change when the ESD 9 board approved the merger of Bennette and Grangerland Fire Departments. The number of calls have increased drastically in the area causing more wear and tear on the older fleet. With repair costs climbing it was decided to replace part of the fleet. The new pumper which has only been in service for a little over three months has already responded to over 300 calls.
Chief Flannerlly promised the board he would sell the trucks that were being replaced to make one years payment on the trucks. He kept his promise. Engine 81, a pumper with many hours on it and mounting repair bills was sold to Sheldon, South Carolina Fire Department for $66,000. Tanker 82, another truck which had many hours on it was sold to Sherwin Alumina, a private tank company in Corpus Christi, Texas for $98,000. Today’s shipment of Rescue 82 brought in an additional $37,000. It was replacing a ladder truck which Yarnell Fire Department recently sold. Yarnell Fire Chief Jim Koile personally came down to watch the loading of his departments fire truck.
The load did not go as easy as planned. The first dock was almost sixteen-inches to short to match the 18-wheeler. The broker who set up the delivery did so from the West Coast and had not seen the loading site. A decision was made to go to another nearby location and there it was easily driven up onto the 18-wheeler by Donnie Waldrep who got to drive the truck one last time.
Since Chief Flannelly has come onboard many things have changed for both departments. A full time crew was put in place to respond to calls quicker. Additional training was done but most of all was the lowering of the ISO rating. The ISO rating is what insurance companies use to set fire insurance rates. With the new equipment, training and the mapping of additional ponds to be used as water sources brought the rating down considerably. Many homeowners in ESD 9 fire district have already seen the decrease. If you haven’t you need to contact your insurance agent and request they update your policy with the new rating. Many residents premiums have dropped between 10% and 35% with this new rating.
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