Thursday, May 22, 2014

New fire engine pulling its weight in Myakka City

Firefighters Brittan Williams, John Creaser, Nathan Mahon, and Chris James are pleased to have a new engine at the Verna Bethany Station. Herald photo by James A. Jones Jr.
MYAKKA  -- The addition of a new $500,000 fire truck has helped the Myakka City Fire Department move up a couple of notches on its 10-year plan, Fire Chief Dan Cacchiotti said this week.

The E-One engine, complete with computer system that gives crew a read out of the emergency they are responding to, and directions on how to get there, already has answered about 50 calls.

One of the most recent  was an eight-acre brushfire this week. The new engine, nicknamed "The Beast of the East" by Myakka Elementary School students, joined several other fire engines and brush trucks, and the Division of Forestry in putting out the fire, Cacchiotti said.

The fire truck, which has been paid off with district funds and a $400,000 grant from the Mosaic Company, helped the district move to 24-hour-a-day staffing for Station 2, better known as the Verna Bethany location.

Firefighter Nathan Mahon said it's a "night and day" comparison of the new engine to an older one  based at Station 2.

Brittan Williams said that he likes the tight turning radius of The Beast, the amount of gear that firefighters can carry,  and the 1,800 gallons of water on board.

Another handy feature is  the video camera that aids the driver in backing the fire engine.
Chief Cacchiotti with some of the new fire engine's  electronics.
Herald photo by James A. Jones Jr.

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