New Quint Welcomed in Minn. Department

July 17--WILLMAR -- The Willmar Fire Department has received its new quint-type ladder and pumper truck that Fire Chief Gary Hendrickson describes as a one-stop tool box for firefighters.

"It's a do-all truck,'' says Hendrickson. "The concept is to be able to do many things with one truck rather than doing multiple tasks with multiple trucks.''

A quintuple combination pumper, or quint, is a piece of fire service apparatus that serves the dual purpose of an engine and a ladder truck. The name refers to the five functions that a quint provides: pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial device, and ground ladders.

The quint was manufactured by Rosenbauer America of Wyoming, Minnesota, at a cost of $610,000 and was purchased under the department's 25-year vehicle replacement program. Another vehicle replacement is scheduled for 2016.

The quint will enter service after training with a manufacturer's representative is completed this week, according to Hendrickson.

In recognition of the arrival of the new truck, the public is invited to a housing ceremony from 6 to 7 p.m. July 31 at the fire station. Light refreshments will be served.

The department has five fire trucks. The quint, approximately 38 feet in length, has a 78-foot ladder capable of reaching about four stories and will provide an aerial master stream. The department also has another truck with a 100-foot ladder and platform for three firefighters capable of reaching about seven stories.

The quint replaces a 1990 E-One Hush engine, which will be purchased for $25,000 by Clara City. The purchase was approved by the Willmar City Council's Finance Committee this week. The Hush originally cost $197,000. Hendrickson says the sale price is a respectable return on the city's initial investment and 25 years of use.

Hendrickson is pleased to have the quint.

"It will be a good addition to the community,'' he said in an interview. "It will provide us with more flexibility and will be another piece of apparatus within Kandiyohi County that can serve others as well as the city of Willmar.''

Transit merger

The committee this week also authorized the mayor and city administrator to sign a joint powers agreement to establish a new transit agency created by the merger of KAT (Kandiyohi Area Transit), the City of Willmar and Renville County.

The merger was ordered by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said City Clerk-Treasurer Kevin Halliday. Halliday said the new agency will begin operation Jan. 1, 2015. He said the assets, bus titles and cash reserves will be combined.

Halliday said existing employees will be hired by the new transit agency. KAT Transit Director Tiffany Collins will take the lead role and the Renville County transit director will be assistant director.

Halliday said the agreement has been approved by the Kandiyohi County and Renville County attorneys, Willmar city attorney and KAT attorney. Ratification is needed by the Kandiyohi County Board (which was given Tuesday), hte Renville County Board and the Willmar City Council.

In addition, the committee recommended council members Bruce DeBlieck and Rick Fagerlie be appointed as council members to the eight-member joint powers board.

School resource officers

The committee also approved a three-year contract with the Willmar Public Schools for school resource officers for 2015, 2016 and 2017. The contract was recommended by Police Chief Jim Felt. He said the school district has contracted with the police department for coverage for over 15 years. Currently three officers are assigned during the school year to the Willmar High School, Middle School, and Alternative Learning Center/elementary schools. The proposed $33,000 contract is up $11,000 from the previous contract, said Felt.

Copyright 2014 - West Central Tribune, Willmar, Minn.