Vermilion’s firefighters will be able to use a brand new truck when they go out on calls.

A new water tanker was unveiled at the Vermilion Fire Hall this week. The County of Vermilion River decided to get the new one to replace another that has been a part of the Vermilion Fire Hall’s fleet since 2009. It was funded through the county’s capital plan, which CVR Director of Protective Services Orest Popil says firefighting equipment is a big part of via their 10-year replacement plan.

Popil says this will help the 30 firefighters on the Vermilion Fire Hall squad have quick access to water, which is important as Vermilion Fire Hall covers one of the largest geographical areas in the county.

“What we have out in rural Alberta is just a deficiency of getting water to our fires. So these tankers are water hauliers. They have a large capacity, they’re fairly agile, they can get around fairly well, so it aids in our firefighting immensely.”

The tanker is able to fill it’s 3,000-gallon tank from a slough or pond in around seven minutes, getting crews back to battling a blaze quicker. The truck also has a front-mounted turret, which can be controlled from inside the truck via a joystick. This could help them spray into ditches or knock out a window to spray water into a building.

The truck from 2009 has been donated to the Blackfoot Fire Department, replacing their old truck. Popil explains that this is to give the truck a new home, Blackfoot some upgraded equipment and utilize the truck’s full lifespan.

“Blackfoot has a little smaller geographic area, not as long a run. We’re hoping to get a full twenty years out of these trucks in service, so that’s just our plan to have more trucks out there and not totally abuse them to the point they’re worthless.”

Vermilion Fire Hall now has three pumpers, a rescue vehicle, along with some side by sides and bush buggies.