First Fire Truck of its Kind Comes to Prior Lake

March 10, 2017 10:52 AM

It's one of the only fire trucks of its kind in the entire country, and it's now in Prior Lake.

Some call it the Swiss Army Knife of fire trucks.

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"Do I need the scissors, or do I need the knife? That's what this is essentially like," said Greg Hayes, public safety director for Mdewakanton Public Safety. 

Firefighters for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community are now training on this all-inclusive truck.

"We have a ladder, we have an engine, we have a rescue, and we also have ALS paramedics on it," Hayes said. 

Hayes said combining all these features into one truck is unique in principle. In fact, he said, it's more than just the truck.

"It's how we even deploy with it," Hayes said. 

"That's what the training is for, we build the muscle memory," said Loyal Weaver, with Mdewakanton Public Safety. 

The department said there are several reasons the truck is so unique. For instance, what typically takes a traditional truck five minutes upon arrival at a scene now can be done in less than two minutes, including ladder and water-supply setup.

"Your traditonal trucks really don't allow for that time, and takes a couple more people," Hayes said. 

Plus, instead of using only water to fight fires, crews will use a combination of compressed air foam that they say is seven times more effective.

"With the compressed air foam, we cut the water back," Hayes said. 

Until an ambulance arrives for transfer, it can provide advanced life support. At 1,800 calls last year, Hayes said the truck is built for the needs of their community.

"This toolbox brings it all," he said. 

The department is confident everyone will benefit when every second counts. 

"It allows us to do our jobs safer, better, faster and I don't know if we could ask for much more," Weaver said. 

The truck hasn't made it's first run yet because the department is just finishing training.

Hayes said thinks someday this all-in-one technology will make it to other communities throughout the state. 


Brett Hoffland

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