Thumbs up for new truck

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

A new $400,000 ad­di­tion to the Pu­taruru fire brigade is one of the best yet.

In the 38 years chief fire of­fi­cer Gra­ham Hoole has been with the brigade he has seen a se­ries of im­proved trucks roll through the sta­tion doors.

In fact this is the third new model in eight years.

The shiny up­grades are far su­pe­rior to the clunky trucks that bus­tled around the streets when Hoole was a fresh re­cruit.

‘‘The cab was open and the brakes as well, you had to re­ally push on it, he said.

The new emer­gency trucks hold about seven com­put­ers com­pared to three be­fore­hand, he said.

Each com­puter con­trols a dif­fer­ent sys­tem.

An anti-skid tech­nol­ogy will also make the truck safer on the roads.

‘‘ It’s just like a new car when you get it mod­i­fied,’’ he said.

Ac­cord­ing

to

Hoole,

it makes sense to up­grade the life-sav­ing ve­hi­cles reg­u­larly be­cause of how of­ten they are used.

‘‘It prob­a­bly gets used about 60 to 70 per cent of the time,’’ he said.

Na­tional com­man­der Paul Bax­ter pre­sented the es­ti­mated $400,000 truck to the brigade last week.

Bax­ter said a new strat­egy was put in place to change the trucks ev­ery five years.

‘‘ It sees us man­age the whole of life of a fire ap­pli­ance, busier vol­un­teer brigades like Pu­taruru get a new truck ev­ery five years and then the old one cas­cades on to a qui­eter brigade,’’ he said.

Un­der the new strat­egy the aim is to keep the en­tire fleet of trucks un­der 25 years old.

The Pu­taruru vol­un­teers also had the chance to share words with Bax­ter.

‘‘ Fire­fight­ers are good at cut­ting to the chase and telling me what they think, I value that and look for things I can fix for them, sim­ple things mostly that mean a lot to them,’’ he said.

New ride: Chief fire of­fi­cer Gra­ham Hoole was handed the key to the new fire truck with all new fea­tures.

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