If you live near the Tillsonburg's Fire Hall, you may have heard mid-afternoon sirens on Thursday, May 5th. You might not have noticed it wasn't the usual siren.
Tilsonburg Fire and Rescue Services was testing the rumbler siren on its shiny, newly delivered 'Rescue 3,' a 2016 Dodge Ram that replaces their old 1995 rescue truck.
The 'rumbler' adds a lower tone to the normal siren, said Fire Chief Jeff Smith, designed to get people's attention and help the firefighters safely navigate through intersections.
The new Rescue 3, built by Metalfab Fire Trucks in Centreville, New Brunswick, was designed according to Tillsonburg's specifications with safety and efficiency in mind.
Smith noted that some of the parts (door hinges) were built by Eberhard Manufacturing, which has a local connection.
Rescue 3 carries four firefighters, rather than five in the old truck, but all four are forward-facing in the cab, rather than having three facing sideways in a back compartment, increasing the safety.
"The truck it replaces is a 20-plus year old design, maybe 25 years old, and concepts have changed," said Smith, "and how we do business has changed."
Rescue 3, a 'toolbox on wheels' is the first of their new fleet, he said, which will function together as a system. Rescue trucks are used for motor vehicle collisions, technical rescue, and scene support.
Storage space is more compact, he noted, but suitable for each truck, and for the type of calls they get. They are not designed as standalone units.
"It's built to our needs, built to what we need here in Tillsonburg."
A new pumper, already approved in the town budget, is scheduled for delivery in 2017.
"That one is being designed to complement this one," said Smith.
Another truck – the aerial ladder – may be due (potentially) in 2020, if they follow underwriter recommendations (Fire Underwriters Survey) of replacing trucks every 20 years.