LEWISTON, ID -- The Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport is less than a week away from having their newest safety tool hit the ground running.
Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) is a special category of fighting a fire involving an aircraft. The Lewiston Fire Department’s newest ARFF truck is ready and it’s something the fire chief said is essential.
“From the seat you can drive it, you can spray foam or dry chemical agent, so you can do everything to protect the means of egress on an aircraft,” Fire Chief Myklebust.
The truck is a major improvement compared to the 22-year-old truck currently being used.
"You have a 20-year-old car, will it get you to work, absolutely,” added Chief Myklebust. “Are there greater odds it might break down, yes.”
It starts with the technology on board, such as sensors, balance mechanisms, and thermal cameras.
"Those are all things that they want you to have so that you can better protect people flying in and out of the airport,” Myklebust explained.
The new truck also has ten times the amount of foam than a regular structural engine.
"You actually can't put out a flammable liquid fire without the foam,” said Chief Myklebust.
The old truck will still be used in some capacity.
"As a backup every once in a while when the other truck is maybe needing the oil changed, things like that, it's perfectly fine,” said Chief Myklebust.
"The FAA is ecstatic that we're getting this truck in and serviced as quickly as possible,” Myklebust said.
The truck could also be a major marketing tool to bring in more flights, and could pique the interest of more carrier’s.
“It shows the commitment from the community, it shows the life safety and the realization that they want to provide the best service,” says Myklebust.
The newest ARFF truck will go active this coming Monday and the new fire station will be a few weeks after. Response times with those factors will be around 80 seconds faster than before, something Myklebust says is extremely important.