Glacier View Fire Department launches wildland fire engine replacement project

Glacier View Fire Department, a grateful recipient of donations following the High Park Fire, plans to use this money to assist with replacement of its aging, high-maintenance engine fleet.

Three Type-6 engines and one Type-1 engine will be replaced with two Type-5 engines and two Type-7 engines. The new engines, with a combined cost of $330,000, will significantly improve the firefighting capabilities of the department and will update the fleet from 28-year-old models to a brand new fleet.

Type-6 engines are pick-up sized and hold 200 gallons of water. Type-1 engines are widely used in urban settings, holding 500 gallons, 3,000 feet of hose and carrying a crew of three. But Type-1 engines are expensive to replace, easily topping $1 million, said Glacier View Fire Protection District Chief Greg Niswender.

“The new engines will allow us to have water and foam within 400-500 feet of any fire,” Niswender said. “Before, our fire engines could go only so far before firefighters had to jump out, walk in and then fight the fire with shovels.”

Type-5 engines are larger versions of Type-6 engines. Type-5 engines hold 400 gallons of water plus foam, and have larger onboard pumps at 300 gallons per minute versus the 80 gallons per minute on Type-6’s.

Type-7 engines are small, two-person, Polaris-sized vehicles that carry 50 gallons of water plus foam. They can be fitted with tracks in the winter for search and rescue on snow.

The new fleet will reduce maintenance costs, allow for uniform procedures for maintenance and operation and require less staffing to operate. The old engines will be made available to other fire departments at low or no cost.

The Type-7 engines were recently delivered and Niswender expects delivery of the Type-5’s sometime in October.

“We’re humbled by the incredible donations we received after last year’s fires,” said Niswender. “This new equipment will help us respond faster, be more efficient and better firefighters all around.”

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