Fire department adds two vehicles to fleet

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Public safety > Hamzat truck, ladder truck bought for use by the DOE

By Tris DeRoma

The LAFD had a “push-in” ceremony at White Rock Station No. 3 for two new additions to its fleet.
The LAFD pushed in two trucks, one designed to deal with emergencies involving hazardous materials within the county and the other an aerial ladder truck designed to put fires out in multi-level structures. One is named “Hazmat 1” and the other will be known as “Truck 3.”
Hazmat 1 is manufactured by the E-ONE company. Known as a “toolbox on wheels,” the truck is designed with many top, side and bottom compartments for tools and equipment.
Los Alamos National Laboratory has a similar truck. As part of a cooperative agreement with LANL, the Los Alamos Fire Department was required to have its own Hazmat truck, as well.
As with all units within the LAFD fleet, the hazmat truck and the aerial ladder truck were purchased by the U.S. Department of Energy. The hazmat truck comes equipped with chemical and gas detection equipment, equipment to help dam and clean up spills, as well as different types of hazmat suits for the crew to designed to deal with any type of spill.
According to LAFD Chief Troy Hughes, Hazmat One was designed to complement LANL’s own hazmat vehicle.
“It’s designed so that when show up at a scene, crews from both trucks will have a general idea where the equipment they need is located,” Hughes said.
Hughes also said now that there are two hazmat trucks within the county, Los Alamos residents will be better served.
“With the lab being closed on the weekend or when it’s after hours, this truck will help us arrive on scene quicker and immediately begin operations,” Hughes said. “...it’s a win-win for everyone. The community is really lucky to have this truck.”
According to LAFD Capt. Kelly Sterna, Truck 3 is designed exclusively for fires in tall structures. This is the fleet’s second aerial ladder truck, the first one is at Station One on West Jemez Road on the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s main campus.
“For some of our taller lab buildings, this is for ventilation defensive fire operations, where we need something to help us deal with fires in multiple story buildings,” Sterna said.
Truck 3 is designed as a first responder.
It has equipment on board that helps firefighters track down the source of the fire quickly. It also has equipment that will aid firefighters in ventilating the building.
Truck 3, as well as Station No. 1’s Truck One both have 105-foot ladders on board.
Both vehicles can also seat a crew of six.
Before the ceremony attendees got a chance to review the vehicles and the equipment they carry.
LAFD Chief Troy Hughes and LAFD Deputy Chief Justin Grider also gave brief speeches, thanking all the representatives from the various federal and local agencies involved in helping the LAFD acquire the vehicles.
Every one then “pushed” each truck into its respective garage bay
The “push-in” ceremony is also known by at least three other names: “christening,” “push-back” and “housing.”
It dates back to the time of horse drawn fire apparatuses. While the horses were great at pulling the apparatuses, they were naturally incapable of any backward movement.
That meant that after each event the apparatus had to be pushed back into the fire station garage by the fire station’s crew.