A new fire engine for the Royse City Fire Department is expected to be completed and ready for use this fall.
The truck is still being assembled and is currently in South Dakota. Once it’s completed and delivered, it will replace an engine from 1993 which is still in use. Deputy Fire Marshal Tanner Dietz anticipates the new engine will help the fire department better serve the community.
“Our last engine that we purchased was in 2005 so this is a big milestone for us,” Dietz said. “It’s a big upgrade for that, which we need to provide adequate services with all the new technology. Over the last 15 years things have changes quite a bit since we got our last engine.”
Once the engine is fully assembled and tested for standards and quality, it will be sent down to Texas for what’s called “make ready,” where staff will put the finishing touches before officially handing the keys over.
“Then we do what is called ‘make ready,’ and that’s when we go in and tell them where we want everything mounted,” Dietz said. “We tell them exactly where we want things and there’s so much detail that we have to think ahead and design it to where we think it will be the best for operational standards.”
The truck, what it looks like and where equipment is placed is all up to the discretion of the fire department and those involved, making the process a lengthy one.
“It takes almost a year to build a truck,” Dietz said. “There are a lot of steps that go into it, from designing, to building and accepting the final product. Everything from the color scheme, to graphics and how tall the hose bed is - every little detail.”
The project to get the truck funded and built has been worked on for several years and funding from last year’s bond made it possible to afford the engine, according to Dietz.
“It’s been in the works for several years and they’ve known that we needed one and we just haven’t had the funding capabilities to make it happen,” he said. “The city council and city management were able to make everything work out for us.”
The new fire engine will replace one of the two fire engines the fire department has. Specifically, it will replace the 1993 engine, which has been in service for about 26 years. It will join the line up the fire department has, including another fire engine, two brush trucks, a tanker and three command vehicles.
“Everybody is super excited about it,” Dietz said. “We’ve done a lot of unique things with it, especially with the color scheme. With the traditional fire truck you see either a solid red color or red on white. We actually did the reverse, we did red over white.”
As for the truck that will be taken out of service once the new one arrives, officials are still determining what to do with it. There are different options on what could be done with the truck taken out of service.
“There’s the potential that we may donate it to a volunteer fire department in need,” he said. “It could go to auction, or it could get traded in. We don’t really know just yet, but those are a few of the options that we’re considering.”
The department is planning a “push in ceremony” for the new truck, to celebrate the addition of a new truck to the lineup and officially introduces it to the community.
“It’s a big ceremony where you have everybody come out and see the truck and introduce it to the community,” Dietz said. “This is like the official blessing you give it.”
The anticipated completion date for the new truck is sometime in the early fall, possibly in September. However the ultimate completion date depends on the timeline for trucks being built ahead of Royse City’s in addition to the time it takes to finish the truck.
“We’re really excited about it; definitely much needed for us,” he said. “Just like smartphones, every year there’s something new. They’re bigger and better and it’s the same with the fire service.”