North Collier Fire District upgrades equipment, trucks and boats

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

The North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District recently upgraded itself with new equipment and displayed it to the public. For the special ops teams, the new equipment has a particular purpose and use for special ops teams.

For firefighters, every second counts while saving lives from a burning building. Similarly, as time passes by, so does their equipment, making it less effective.

A special operations apparatus named Heavy Rescue 48 might appear to be a fire truck, but as Nick Stolts, the captain for North Collier Fire, explains, there is a substantial difference.

“This truck has no pump, no tank, but is full of technical rescue equipment and hazardous materials equipment, dive equipment. So basically, we can make a rescue if you’re hanging off the side of the building or underwater. If you have a hazardous material spill, we’re there to clean that up as well,” said Stolts.

North Collier Fire
North Collier Fire District upgrades. CREDIT: WINK News

The truck does not come cheap. Firefighters who work on it must complete 700 hours of training.

“By owning this truck, we put some new specialized equipment on it. We’ve also consolidated about four other units, we used to be in trailers and multiple trucks. Now it’s all confined on one unit,” said Stolts.

Fire Boat 41 is another added new tool at the fire department’s disposal. Fire Boat 41 has thermal and night vision systems, GPS navigation and radar. The SRU 420 Dive Truck was also added and is built for extended recovery and water rescues.

“The scenes that we show up to is basically a car that drives into a pond, a car that drives into a canal. This basically shows up it, has scene lights on the side of it, we also have additional lights inside to light up the scene if we can’t get close enough with the vehicle. It has communications for underwater communications with the divers,” said Lieutenant Robert Loewel, the dive team coordinator.

North Collier Fire told WINK News nobody should look at the new trucks as ‘new toys’ but as a symbol of commitment to serve the community. The firefighters believe making this investment now will save taxpayer money later.

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