There is a new engine in town.
Bryan-College Station residents may have seen a maroon and white fire truck driving around Aggieland since it went online May 20, emblazoned with special designs and references to the College Station Fire Department’s relationship with Texas A&M University. Firefighters and drivers at Station 3 on Barron Road have been training on the new truck for the past month, learning all of the new bells and whistles.
“We’re so fortunate that we have the support of city management, the city council and the citizens,” College Station Fire Department Public Information Officer Carter Hall said.
The engine is a quintuple combination pumper — referred to simply as a quint — and is one of a kind in Bryan and College Station, according to Station 3 Fire Captain K. Simmons. The quint is a multifaceted fire-service apparatus that provides a combination service as an engine that can pump and carry water in addition to serving as a ladder truck.
Simmons said that the truck is equipped with a 500-gallon tank and can pump 1,500 gallons per minute. It also features the tallest ladder in the city — 107 feet at full extension.
The truck was purchased as a part of the department’s regular truck replacement schedule. Just like how people save up for a new vehicle, Hall said, the city has proactively and continually set aside funds for vehicle purchases to avoid having trucks in service for too long.
“When the times comes to purchase a new truck, instead of having to pull out ... whatever the cost of the truck might be, [the city] has allocated the money throughout the years for it,” Hall said.
Hall said the university was excited to work with the city and station on the design of the quint, assisting in the design process to assure that everything down to the shade of maroon was perfect.
The truck made its debut at the Hall of Champions during a recent Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service fire training event.
“It was amazing to see the response to a maroon and white fire truck at Kyle Field; they just loved it. ” Hall said. “We knew it was going to be a hit before we got it, but actually putting it out there and seeing people’s reaction to it, taking photos with their Aggie ring and a thumbs up, and reposting them online [affirmed that].”
Although this design is a first for fire trucks, Hall said there are other vehicles in service that sport the maroon and white, such as fire marshal trucks and special operations vehicles.
“When Fire Chief Jonathan McMahan came [a couple of years ago], he said that it is crazy that we have one of the largest universities in our backyard that we provide fire protection for and ... he said, ‘Let’s look at putting some maroon and white fire trucks out there to pay respects to Texas A&M.’ This is just part of the process and was the next fire truck that came up,” Hall said.