Gaetane McClure stands next to the truck that was named in honour of her late husband

Unveiling ceremony for Rescue 120 on Friday

If you have ever wondered what a state-of-the-art, heavy duty, highway rescue truck looks like, now is your chance.

Town of GoldenStory Submitted

f you have ever wondered what a state-of-the-art, heavy duty, highway rescue truck looks like, now is your chance to get an up-close look at the latest addition to Golden’s rescue fleet. On May 22, from 1 to 4 p.m., community members are invited to come and see Rescue 120 at the official unveiling ceremony at the Golden Fire Hall.

Built by Hub Fire Apparatus out of Abbottsford, and funded by the BC Gaming Corp., the new truck is a fully customized, heavy road vehicle that will greatly assist Golden Fire Rescue as a first responder unit on the area highways.

Deputy Fire Chief Ken Squarebriggs says the 2015 Spartan Fire Engine has been outfitted with a 400 hp, six-speed motor designed to get first responders to the scene as quickly as possible.

“This thing has the power to get through the mountainous terrain that we are in,” he explained.

Already used on two calls, Rescue 120 and the team were able to shave off roughly seven minutes of response time on a rescue in Roger’s Pass, says Squarebriggs, adding that the new truck doesn’t lose power on steep hills.

But Rescue 120 is more than just a motor.

“The custom body that was built by Hub is what makes the truck outstanding,” said Squarebriggs.  “It has the capability to carry the equipment, 800 gallons of water and a foam injection system so we can make foam safely on the highway for different applications.”

The foam injection system has its own pump and a metering system that keeps it consistent.

“This is huge for when we have a fire. When there are people’s lives in danger and we have to fight a fire, we need to stretch every capable inch of that truck.”

The truck is outfitted with a progressive lighting system that folds up and out, can turn in any direction and is powered by a generator housed in the vehicle.

Among the vehicle’s many tools are the Jaws of Life, spreaders, cutters and rams of all different sizes and proportions – all of which allow for work on a variety of different vehicles.

“We have every tool we need on there to get the job done,” said Squarebriggs.

Rescue 120s cab is built to hold eight rescue members comfortably and keep them warm and safe.

“The cab was purposely built larger than the original stock because in preliminary design meetings we realized the original design was too small,” noted Squarebriggs.

“In fact, there is now so much room in the cab, because we designed the seats to fold up, that if we needed to place a member in there that was in distress, we could keep them warm and work on them.”

Squarebriggs says that the truck’s pump is “a big fire pump, which is normally not built into rescue trucks so this truck is also a municipal fire protection tool.”

Securing funding for the rescue vehicle was a high-priority project for former Fire Chief Ken McClure. The Golden Fire Rescue Association received the truck in January and named it Rescue 120 – in honour of the recently deceased Chief.

“We called it Rescue 120 so he is always with us when we go,” said Squarebriggs.

The unveiling event will be held at the Golden Fire Hall.

“We will also have some of the other emergency vehicles on display so that people can see not just us, but all the partners that are out there doing it,” Squarebriggs says.

The celebration will also provide an opportunity for residents to meet Golden’s new Fire Chief, David Balding.

“This has been recruitment unlike any other as we take this step to close a sombre chapter of fire service past here that began last September,” said CAO Jon Wilsgard.

“I am confident that our self-forced wait to fill this position was a good thing and we are now ready for a new leader to keep us both strong and competent as we move forward into a new era of provincial standards in order to meet the needs of our community.”