New Lanett fire truck should last for the next 20 years

Published 8:58 am Friday, May 25, 2018

LANETT — Thursday was a big day for the Lanett Fire Department. A new fire truck arrived at the fire station. It cost over $400,000 but is expected to be a mainstay for the department for the next 20 years.

The 2018 custom-built pumper was assembled in Ohio by Sutphen Corp., an elite name among companies that build fire trucks. and purchased through an area sales representative.

“A big advantage for us is that they have a sales rep, Williams Fire Apparatus, that’s not that far away in Ashland, Ala.” said Lanett Fire & EMS Chief Johnny Allen. “If we need help for any reason they are not that far away.”

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Chief Allen said the new vehicle is a good buy for the city, especially considering it’s expected to be the LFD’s most-used vehicle for the next two decades.

“This pumper is high-tech,” Allen said. “It will provide a great deal of added safety to the firefighter/paramedics who are using it as well as to the citizens it is serving. Its technology will help with extending the life of the vehicle and making maintenance and upkeep more proficient.”

The new pumper is ideal for Lanett’s jurisdiction.

“We have some tight areas in our jurisdiction where it is difficult to maneuver a fire truck,” Allen said. “With an overall length of 31 feet, four inches, the new pumper is nearly two feet shorter than the older pumper. We can get to more places with it, and that will be a benefit to the citizens of Lanett.”

A high-tech feature Allen really likes are the on-board cameras that show both sides and the rear of the pumper. This should greatly reduce the risk of accidents while en route to a fire call.

“This new pumper is a tremendous asset for our city,” Allen said. “I want to thank the mayor and city council members for approving its purchase. The Fire/EMS Department is not a money-making department but is vitally needed for the safety our citizens deserve.”

Lanett’s current ISO rating is 3, which is very good for a city the size of Lanett. Allen is optimistic that number could improve to a 2 with the purchase of the new pumper. Any department that scores 80 or above is a 2. Lanett was at 78.7 in the last rating.

West Point and Huguley are also 3s. East Alabama is a 5 but should get a better rating with a new fire station in Fairfax.

“We have some really good fire departments in the local area, and the citizens should know that,” Allen said.

Lanett firefighters offered ideas on the design of the new pumper.

“Everyone could assist with the design,” Allen said. “Capt. Jamie Heard was the lead person in coordinating the construction of the pumper with Sutphen, Like everything Capt. Heard does for us, he did an outstanding job. It helped us bring about the purchase ahead of schedule.”

Allen said he wanted to thank Chief Mit Smith and the West Point Fire Department for their help.

“West Point’s newest pumper is basically the same design,” Allen said. “Like our new one, it was built by Sutphen. Every time we had any kind of question, we could contact them and they’d be very helpful. All of our people have driven their new pumper. This will help us in getting ours in service. We already know the pumper’s basic functions.”

The Lanett Fire/EMS vehicles promote school pride. There’s the red of Springwood and black and gold of Lanett High.

“I’m thinking about having a gold Panther head on one side and a wildcat on the other side,” Allen said.