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Macedon goes automatic
Shortly after Ash Wednesday, the Macedon community rallied to raise funds for the town’s first brigade-owned vehicle. Not only was it brigade owned. It was brigade built.
Last October, Macedon Brigade received a new tanker, once again brigade owned.
Macedon Tanker 2 is a landmark piece of equipment. Not only is it one of CFA’s new medium tankers, it is the first automatic transmission version of that tanker to be delivered to a brigade.
Macedon Brigade Captain Greg Snart is very impressed. The six-speed automatic transmission, Greg says, is just the beginning.
“The cab is air conditioned with room for five people. Before it was two in the cab and the rest on the back. They’d be ratting around in the dust and dirt on long-haul strike teams.
“Now the crew can be up in the cabin, listening to the radio traffic and planning as we drive.”
The new hard suction features come in for special praise from Greg. “In the old truck, you’d need to connect three lines and operate the manual priming pump before you could draft water out of a dam.
“This truck has an electric priming pump and one long, flexible line of hose. It’s a massive improvement.”
The tanker is also equipped with a remote control monitor allowing crews to direct water in a 180-degree arc from inside the cab. Greg believes the feature will be invaluable in grass fires.
“The monitor can do the first knock down on a running grass fire or grass flank with the rear crew picking up the pieces,” says Greg. “It allows us to be much more efficient in how we fight fires.”
While Greg is enthusiastic about the new tanker, he saves his greatest praise for the fundraising effort that secured the vehicle.
“The brigade started fundraising for this truck 15 years ago,” recalls Greg. “$360,000 is a big total so we really ramped up a few years back. We got our flea market up to $20,000 a year.
“In 2015 we got really lucky when a local business asked “how much do you need? They offered $3 for each dollar CFA raised from the community. In six weeks we had $80,000.”
And the truck itself. How is it travelling? “Everyone is loving the truck,” says Greg. “It is absolutely state of the art.”