Any Ford in a storm
Not all concepts are mere eye candy
Houston Rodeo. Just after that event, the fire department in Arlington, 430km to the north, called for help responding to a series of twisters that tore through the region.
A call went out to Newscope and soon vice-president Brad Snyder and an offsider were driving the special pick-up into the heart of the devastation, to a nursing home that had borne the brunt of a tornado.
‘‘ We were scared when we took it out there, because it had never been driven more than three miles,’’ Snyder told The New York Times. ‘‘ It came through with flying colours.’’
The F-550 was said to be especially useful as it could get into spaces too small for conventional fire trucks.
Some of its cool features also came in handy. These include a tower than can extend to 11 metres and use thermal imaging to check for heat sources up to 2.4km away, as well as an elevated nightvision camera.
It also has an 1135L water tank, two pumps and a powerful winch. An array of powerful lights, including 113 LEDS, allowed the crew to illuminate houses and check for anyone needing help.
Snyder says the truck checked 124 houses that were so badly damaged they will need to be demolished. Authorities say about a dozen tornadoes hit the area but there were no fatalities.
To the rescue: Only in Texas could the F-550 be regarded as a nippy firstresponder