Alachua County Fire Rescue gets new heavy rescue unit

Alachua County Fire Rescue gets new heavy rescue unit
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 12:20 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Alachua county fire rescue welcomed a new heavy rescue unit.

The new truck will replace Squad 23 which has been in service for nearly 20 years.

The truck itself and all the equipment inside cost just under $1 million.

It took about 18 months to build from start to finish and to stock with equipment.

Heavy rescue unit 23 carries all the equipment a fire engine carries, except water.

The purpose is to respond to any emergency and medical calls including vehicle crashs and search and rescue events.

“So there’s an enormous amount of equipment that is on the truck,” said ACFR fire chief, Harold Theus. “Really in fire rescue terms it is one gigantic large rolling tool box. So it has everything you can imagine on it from chainsaws, power equipment, hand tools, extrication, cribbing. It’s all contained on that truck”.

The vehicle was designed by alachua county fleet services and alachua county fire rescue apparatus committee members.

Back in June, ACFR leaders had to take a rescue unit out of service due to staffing shortages.

But since heavy rescue unit 23 is replacing squad 23 which had been in service for nearly 20 years, it will remain the same number of crew members and will have no issues being fully staffed.

“This truck is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This truck always remains in service it’s located here out of Fort Clark Boulevard which really is an advantageous location for us. The interstate is close by so we can go north and south real quick and the western side of alachua county. It’s so vast with so many highway, so many buildings, it’s important to have it at a good location that we can respond to” said Theus.

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