Denison Fire officials hope a new piece of equipment will better train firefighters from across the region on the use of pump trucks.
The Denison City Council recently approved a memorandum of understanding with the city of Sherman to transfer a pump trainer trailer to the Denison department. The piece of equipment was previously owned by the city of Sherman, but had gone into disuse in recent years, Denison officials said.
“Firefighters need to move up to engineers when we have vacations and shifts,” Denison Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Mark Escamilla said. “This will help ensure everyone has the same level of training.”
Escamilla said the pump trainer contains a 1,000-gallon tank that can be attached to a pump truck and act as its water source. The equipment can then be used to simulate different scenarios that can occur with a pump truck and prepare firefighters on how to react in that situation.
As an example, Escamilla said the pump trainer could simulate what a loss of pressure on a water line or a total loss of water service without having to utilize city infrastructure. The pump will also simulate different temperatures, allowing firefighters to train for summer heat or other conditions, he added.
Additionally, the pump trainer will recirculate the water, allowing firefighters to train throughout the day using the same water.
The pump will be useful to firefighters of all levels as it will allow those new to the department, as well as engineers, to train and learn new skills, but it will also be useful for veteran firefighters who want to practice and hone their skills in a controlled environment.
The pump trainer has been in the possession of Sherman Fire-Rescue for several years, but hasn’t been utilized as much as it had in the past, Escamilla said. By moving it to Denison, Escamilla said he hoped to allow other departments, including Sherman, to use it more.
In order to bring the equipment up to operational condition, Denison has invested $6,800 in repairs and upgrades. These improvements brought the equipment back to like-new condition and also increased its capabilities with software upgrades and increased module access. If the city were to purchase the equipment today, Escamilla said it would likely cost about $50,000 to $60,000 and described the agreement as a good deal for Denison.
The exchange agreement does not include any payment by either of the cities. Escamilla said the equipment was originally purchased by Sherman through a grant. Calls to the city of Sherman for comment were not returned.