Duluth Firefighters Train with New Fire Rig, Expect Faster Response Times

The new $1.4 million firetruck is outfitted with a center-mounted ladder, mounted bucket, and more.

DULUTH, Minn.- Two weeks ago the Duluth Fire Department received a new fire engine, to be used out of Tower One. After spending time outfitting it with all the necessary bells and whistles, they took it out for a spin Tuesday for training.

There was no fire in the Marcus Theaters parking lot, but the hoses were running on a brand new piece of equipment which shave valuable minutes off response time.

“With a little more training once we become super proficient at it we’ll be able to set this rig up in under 30 seconds,” said Captain Brian Black. “This old rig took probably two to three minutes to set up.”

The old fire rig will be kept on reserve status, and brought out only when the new one needs maintenance.

The new $1.4 million firetruck comes with a ladder mounted in the center for greater mobility and access to different building heights. “We don’t have to be so far set back from a building to swing the aerial through and it also just gives us an easier placement when we’re lining up on a house or building,” the Captain said.

There’s also a mounted bucket, so firefighters are more secure when they’re up multiple stories in the air.

“Looks like we’re going to be able to access a lot of different spaces and buildings that we might now have been able to earlier,” said firefighter Adam Casillas.

The whole machine is built for Duluth’s unique terrain. “It is going to greatly help having a rig that has more power and is newer,” Casillas said.

“We can go up some of these bigger hills Duluth are known for not at 15-20 mph, but more between 20-40 mph which will greatly increase our response time,” he said.

That’s the most valuable feature of the new equipment to first responders.

“It’ll make us much safer, more efficient and ultimately it’ll help us provide better protection for our citizens here in Duluth,” said Capt. Black.

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