Thumbs up for new truck
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.
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.