Buffalo City Metro will today officially welcome a new fire truck that cost more than R5-million.
The city is hoping the fire truck will restore residents’ faith in the metro’s fire fighting capabilities.
The new emergency vehicle is equipped with a jaws of life set, bolt cutters and standby pipes, among other equipment.
The arrival of the new truck comes after the Daily Dispatch reported this week the city would be found wanting if hit by the kind of fires that killed seven people and displaced many along the Garden Route this month, as its trucks were unroadworthy.
BCM mayor Xola Pakati welcomed the new fire truck in his State of the Metro address yesterday.
“We will be attending the handover session [today] of our new fire engine which will be delivered at Fleet Street fire station.
“We are in the process of replacing our aging fleet with a new fleet.
“This is confirmed by our 2017-2018 financial year commitment wherein we have budgeted R17-million to buy a further three fire engines,” Pakati said.
The manufacturer, Rosenbauer, an Austrian company, was given the thumbs-up last month to deliver the truck.
It is the second-most expensive vehicle in BCM’s fleet and the second Rosenbauer vehicle for the metro.
BCM chief fire officer Thembile Thompson said: “This is the best vehicle in town supplied by the best company in the world and it comes fully equipped, which will put our fire fighters on a good footing to tackle any fire in the city.
“We want to restore the faith back into the community and we believe adding this new truck to our fleet will do that.”
Proud of the newest addition, Thompson added that the major pumper – estimated at R5.2-million – is able to carry about 4000 litres of water.
“The best part of this truck is that should the battery run low or die, it can be recharged without calling
for a backup charger or jumper cables.
“It carries about 4000 litres of water and 200 litres of foam, which mixes with the water when the fire fighters are dousing challenging flames.”
Firefighters using the truck will be able to carry out their task with great ease using the 20 hoses, which would amount to about 600m on board, he said.
One of the features Rosenbauer offers to all its clients is that they have a mobile workshop and service the trucks locally.
Rosenbauer’s local representative, Michael von der Heyde, who drove the vehicle from Johannesburg on Monday, said BCM residents should have faith in it.
“We have to see it in relation because this machine can deal with any kind of fire and ultimately serve its main purpose – to save lives.
“The city can now be at ease with this fully fledged emergency vehicle in its corner.
“It is very important to note that by having this truck as part of the fleet, the vehicle gets serviced locally and would prevent a shortage should it break down for a lengthy period.”