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MP Fire Department firefighters ready to roll with new rescue rig

Vehicle built for storing, transporting emergency lifesaving equipment was delivered over the weekend

Submitted photo

The Mt. Pleasant Fire Department received a brand-new rescue rig on Saturday, March 16. Though the vehicle needs decals, and firefighters need to be trained on how to operate the truck, the vehicle should be on the road in a matter of weeks.
Submitted photo The Mt. Pleasant Fire Department received a brand-new rescue rig on Saturday, March 16. Though the vehicle needs decals, and firefighters need to be trained on how to operate the truck, the vehicle should be on the road in a matter of weeks.
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After almost a decade of operating a used firetruck, the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department received a brand-new rescue rig over the weekend.

The rig, a 22-foot walk around heavy unit, replaces a used model from 2000 that was bought by the city in 2011.

“We were starting to get repair bills (on the old rig), and we roll this vehicle the most,” said Brent Schleisman, Mt. Pleasant city administrator. “It goes out more than any of the trucks we have, so the council decided, ‘Let’s get a brand-new vehicle.’”

While the city has been buying most of its vehicles new since 2007, this will be the first new rescue rig the city has purchased, Schleisman said. The fire department shopped around and eventually decided to work with an Illinois based company called Alexis to get the rig they needed.

Unlike the city’s two “pump trucks,” made primarily for pumping water, or the city’s “ladder truck,” which extends a 105-foot ladder for the firefighters, the rescue rig is built for storing and transporting lifesaving tools and equipment to emergencies.

“It’s outfitted with everything you could think of that you’d need at a rescue,” Schleisman said, citing equipment such as air tanks and the Jaws of Life. “When you go to a rescue call you don’t have time to go back, you gotta have it with you.”

The new truck costs $552,000, and Shleisman hopes it will be servicing the community for the next 20 years.

Currently, firefighters are training on the new vehicle and the city still has to outfit it with radios and get decals, but Shleisman believes the fire department will have the rig on the road in a matter of weeks. Once the new unit is active the old one will be traded in for $60,000, which will help cushion the bill for the new one.

“We’re on a rotating scale of about every five years getting some new piece of equipment,” Schleisman said. “Things keep changing, they modernize things. Same thing with fire equipment, they come up with better ideas.”