Quick Attack Truck first of its kind in area

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Loyd Star Volunteer Fire Department is celebrating a newarrival that officials say is one of the first of its kind in thearea.

Loyd Star VFD President Kirk Douglas said the department’s newQuick Attack Truck, which arrived at their station on Friday, willrevolutionize firefighting for their district. The truck works offa compressed air foam (CAF) system, minimizing the amount of waterthat must be used when attacking a fire.

“It uses very little water, and very little liquid foam, butmakes a whole lot of expanded foam,” Douglas said. “When you fighta house fire with it, you can suppress it a lot quicker with thefoam than you can water, you don’t do the damage to the house thatyou would with water.”

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Douglas said the best part about the CAF system is that since itminimizes the amount of water that has to be used, the non-toxic,biodegradable soap-like substance keeps property damage to aminimum as well. The foam actually smothers the fire instead ofdrowning it like the water does.

“What it does is with the CAF system is you mix the air andwater and foam together, you use water to aerate the foam, and itblows it out like shaving cream,” he said. “Once the fire’s goneyou can almost just wipe down the house and it’s like it was neverthere.”

The truck carries 300 gallons of water, where most fire trucksand tankers carry upwards of 500 gallons. Add in the 10 gallons ofliquid foam, and Douglas said that’s all a department would need tosuppress a fire with an outside attack.

“With this machine, you can go through a window or front doorand foam that room and it’s over, so your firemen are not actuallyin the position of getting trapped in a house,” he said.

In addition, the new truck is ready to fight fire as soon as itis cranked, instead of needing time to build up air pressure,Douglas said.

“In the case of a car fire, you can knock it down while you’restill getting your pumper ready and this unit’s done,” he said.”It’s going as soon as you crank up the engine. That’s what we werelooking at when we bought it.”

The truck cost $102,540, which the department paid for out ofits own budget, which comes from a yearly allowance from the countyas well as donations from the public.

“It’s unreal, if people could see what we’ve really got toprotect their property, I think they’d be amazed,” Douglassaid.

And the Quick Attack Truck will be the first to respond to everycall, Douglas said.

“It will roll on every fire call we get, that will be the firsttruck we roll,” he said.

County Fire Coordinator Clifford Galey said the truck is notonly a great tool for the Loyd Star department, but also forLincoln County.

“It’s a new addition for Lincoln County,” he said. “It’s thefirst of its kind here, as a matter of fact, it’s the first in thewhole area.”

Douglas said there are only about 20 similar units in service inthe state of Mississippi, but there are several being orderedbecause of the way they work.