Walton County Fire Rescue has taken delivery of a fire engine from Pierce Manufacturing of Bradenton Fla. The engine is a Pierce Saber Pumper that was manufactured in 2011 as a demonstrator of the Pierce fleet. The fact that the pumper was a demonstrator allowed Walton County to purchase the vehicle at a reduced rate while still maintaining the benefits of a new truck warranty.

The pumper was purchased to replace an engine that was involved in a high speed crash on the Interstate and will be placed into service to continue response to the Interstate system along with service to the citizens of Walton County.

“Being that our previous pumper was struck from behind in an incident beyond the control of Fire Rescue  has made us take a hard look at the safety features that will be incorporated into every new pumper and all of our existing vehicles,” said Walton County Fire Rescue Chief Brian Coley.

The new pumper carries many safety features the previous pumper did not have, such as steel bumpers instead of chrome, enhanced emergency lighting and enhanced reflective tape instead of more expensive diamond tread aluminum. Walton County has made every attempt to keep personnel safe, while keeping cost to a minimum.

The pumper also has the capability to carry heavier rescue and extrication equipment that Walton County has in service, but was previously unable to carry due to space limitations. In the past, any incident requiring heavier extrication equipment required a long wait on scene while that equipment was mobilized and allowed travel time to a scene.

“The ability to carry the heavier equipment will translate into more rapid extrications to those persons trapped in the wreckage of a traffic accident,” said Coley.  “Shorter extrication times at traffic crashes will translate into higher survivability rates of critically injured patients.”

The pumper will be stationed at Walton County Fire Rescue Station 2 by mid-September and will be able to respond to the Interstate as well as the 331 corridor South of DeFuniak Springs. Walton County Fire Rescue would like to thank the Board of County Commissioners for the opportunity to place this critical piece of equipment into service for the public of Walton County.