We spoke with Jesse Harris, the captain of Greenville Fire & Rescue in North Carolina about their brand new fire / ambulance hybrid appliance.
Flashover: Where abouts in the states are you located and what kind of call rates are we talking here?
We are in eastern North Carolina, which is on the East Coast of the US. Our department operates out of six stations, with hopes to build the seventh this coming year. We had over 18,000 calls last year, totaling about 40,000 apparatus responses. Our department provides fire, rescue, and Paramedic level EMS service, including transport of patients. We are the primary delivery agency for emergency medical care in our city. We have 6 engines, 1 hybrid EMS/fire engine, tower/platform, rescue, and 7 EMS transport units in service.
Flashover: What exactly is this appliance? What role does it play and what will it enable you to do in the field?
This unit is a fully rated fire engine, carrying 500 gallons of water, a 1250 GPM pump, and all the needed fire equipment. It also carries all the same equipment as our Paramedic level EMS transport units, including a stretcher. It is a 2017 Pierce Transport Engine. This unit will be operated out of the new station eventually. The station will only have three personnel initially, as it will not have the call volume to require multiple units.
We have a similar station with lower call volumes that we operated with “jump trucks”. Meaning the three person crew jumped on the EMS unit, or fire unit depending on the call type. We found that this reduced response times, and sometimes left the crew unable to provide the service that was needed. We have a similar unit in that station, a Braun Patriot unit. It is more of an EMS truck, but does have 300 gallons of water, a pump, some hose, fire tools, etc. The station still has a rated engine at the station, and still jumps onto it for commercial fires. We decided on this unit because it will allow the crew to provide the service needed as quickly as possible.
Flashover: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us! Has the new unit been deployed yet?
The new unit has not been placed into service yet, but we have been operating one station similarly for a few years.