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September 21, 1998

Fire Department to unveil new fire engine at OPERS fall festival

The Office of Physical Education, Recreation, and Sports (OPERS) is hosting its annual fall festival on Tuesday, September 29 (more information)

The UCSC Fire Department took delivery last month of a new fire engine that will greatly enhance the department's ability to respond to emergencies, said Fire Chief Chuck Hernandez.

"This is our first new engine since the establishment of the Fire Department," said Hernandez. "It's a big thing for us."

The state-of-the-art fire engine will be displayed at the OPERS fall festival on Tuesday, September 29.

The engine offers numerous improvements over the department's previous front-line fire engine, including safety features, enhanced communications capabilities, and upgraded fire-fighting features.

The most dramatic improvement is the vehicle's ability to steer with all four wheels, said Hernandez. This feature allows the engine to maneuver around even the tightest of turns on the campus.

"It almost drives sideways," Hernandez said.

The fire engine was manufactured specifically for UCSC by Pierce Fire Apparatus of Wisconsin.

The new fire engine will replace one that is 22 years old. The Fire Department purchased the older engine as a used vehicle in the early 1990s and has nursed it through numerous repairs since then.

Next month, the old fire engine will be auctioned off through a surplus auction at UCSC Receiving. The Fire Department will continue to keep a second fire engine, also 22 years old, to back up the new engine.

Engines are usually retired from the front lines after only 15 years of service, Hernandez said. Newer vehicles offer improvements in safety technology that meet nationally recognized standards.

"We purchased this new engine not only so that we could maintain an adequate emergency-response vehicle, but also to provide vastly improved service to our community for many years to come," said Hernandez.

The Fire Department invites the campus community to view its new fire engine at the OPERS Fall Festival.

"Or drop by 'your' fire station near Crown College," added Fire Captain Mike Quinton. "Please be sure to wave when you see this new fire engine sporting our official Banana Slug logo and mascot."

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