Camelot Neighborhood Association

Magnificent Machine

By Judi Cheek

IMG_0781_LoRes.JPGFrom left to right: Kenneth Crutchfield (Driver/Paramedic), Jeff Treese (Firefighter/Paramedic), Mark Michene (Driver/Paramedic), Capt. J. D. Schulgen (Paramedic), Lyle Chambers (Firefighter)


The Garland Fire Department Station 6 on Holford Road, serving Camelot, is one of three fire stations which have new fire engines especially designed for the Garland Fire Department. Captain J. D. Schulgen extended an invitation to Crime Watch Coordinator Lowell Hyatt to visit the firehouse on Superbowl Sunday to see this new machine up close and personal, and the rest of us got to sneak in on Lowell’s coattails.

Captain Schulgen and the crew were extremely gracious hosts and gave us a wonderful tour of the new engine while patiently answering all our many questions. They and Lieutenant Kevin Paige, who was involved in the decisions relating to the outfitting of the new engines, are the sources for the information included in this article.

One of the first things that we all learned is that there is a difference between a fire engine and a fire truck. An engine, also referred to as a pumper, has a water pump, water tank, supply hose, attack hose and ground ladders. A true truck does not have a water pump, a water tank, or the amount of hose found on an engine. Garland and many other suburbs use trucks that are technically considered “quints.” These trucks have a large (75-100 feet) mounted aerial ladder on top, water pump, water tank, supply hose, attack hose and more ground ladders than an engine. Garland’s trucks serve as both an engine and a ladder truck. Engines have an approximate service life of twenty years, ten years in frontline service and ten more in reserve service.   

The three new engines have a combined cost of $1,800,000 and each weighs about twenty-two tons. Each engine is a custom design with respect to the equipment on it, and that design is created by a special apparatus committee made up of two firefighters, two drivers, two lieutenants, two captains, a battalion chief and a chief.* The design process takes about two years from the time of approval of funds for a new engine until the actual delivery. Two of the three new engines have a Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS) which allows for the production of foam from a tank using air injected from the hoses; Station 6 has an engine with the CAFS feature. Foam uses less water and causes less water-related damage when extinguishing hose fires. A layer of foam sprayed over a burning car puts out the fire and keeps it from reigniting. This system and other factors have allowed Garland to be one of only forty cities in the United States that have an Insurance Service Office Public Protection Classification of ISO Class 1. This classification can lower home insurance rates for Garland citizens.

The E6 is a real beauty with state-of-the-art and efficient features everywhere (like snow chains that can be deployed with the touch of a button!). She has an amazing array of compartments with all kinds of equipment, including all sizes and varieties of hose, large axes, a chain saw, a generator, a jaws of life and a heavy duty metal cutter used to extricate people trapped in vehicles. A piece of equipment called a Blitzfire can be placed next to a burning building to spray water on the building in a pattern much like a lawn sprinkler. One side of the engine has a full array of controls for each individual hose, the foam generator, the Blitzfire, and other fire fighting
features. The firefighters can change the location of some of the equipment, and much rearranging is going on now since the engine is so new and the crews are working to find the most efficient and workable storage plan.

The new E6 has a smoother and more comfortable ride with a tighter turning ratio than the old engine, and we got to see this for ourselves when we were given a ride with lights flashing and horn and sirens blaring—awesome!! We all enjoyed it so much and highly recommend going to Fire Station 6 to take a look at this very impressive fire engine.


*The titles and names are: Firefighters Johnathan Diffee and Steve Polk; Drivers Chad Purcell and Brett Warren; Lieutenants Jason Brooks, Eric Brown and Jeremy House; Captains Casey Lindsay and Sam Mutrux; Battalion Chief Kerry Mooney and Chief Kelly Miller.



Posted by txclogger on 09/21/2016
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