If you guessed a “fire truck”, you are 100% correct . . . and Mackinac Island will soon have a NEW one – well, not BRAND new, but new for us! The bright, shiny truck arrived for testing a week ago (as I was getting ready to walk downtown to go pick Blake up at the airport), and thanks to Smi Horn, a Mackinac Island volunteer fireman, I have some photos to show you!
The shiny red 75-foot ladder and pumper truck on the Coal Dock. The truck's ladder is 20 feet taller than the city's current truck (at left) and able to reach the roofs of every Mackinac Island structure.
The truck was built by HME of Wyoming (Michigan) as a demonstration truck, using maneuverability on Mackinac Island's narrow roads as one of its design features. HME built the city's Engine I truck in 2003 and built this demo truck last year. It has toured the country at shows and departments in need of a new equipment. Although the truck has many road miles, it has seen no firefighting time and is in great shape. The lifespan of a firetruck is 30 years.
The 2010 truck has a 2007 diesel engine. Later-model engines have exhaust systems that allow such trucks to be driven at highway speeds, but such capability is not needed on Mackinac Island. Island firefighters inspected the truck and tested it on some of the Island's most challenging streets, like Turkey Hill. Assistant Fire Chief and City Council Member Sam Barnwell said, "It handles great. It has a better turn radius. It drove much smoother and quieter than any of the other trucks that we have."
I believe this is firefighter Josh Carley making the climb up the 75-foot ladder.
At the City Council meeting on Thursday evening (8/25/2011), the decision was made to purchase this great truck. What a great asset it will be to the arsenal of firefighting equipment already owned by the Island!
Note: Information for this post taken from articles in The Mackinac Island Town Crier. Thanks again to Smi Horn for the use of his photos!