Check out Times’ YouTube channel for a video tour of the new rig

    The Crookston Firefighters Association has a new truck and it definitely catches the eye with its sleek black and red color scheme, and roomier cab. The 2019 custom Rosenbauer can fit up to six firefighters in the cab plus a “jump seat” for a seventh firefighter, and holds more water in the tank making it even better for rural calls.  

    Tom Feiro, a Crookston firefighter who is celebrating his 36th year with the Association, recently gave the Times a tour of the $455,987 custom cab fire truck that made its way from Wyoming, Minnesota. The truck, which will be around for the next (roughly) 25 years, was built piece-by-piece and offers more storage space plus some extra features like a collapsible ladder on the back to get to the hose bin in a safer fashion.

    “Close to 70 percent of the fire trucks that are being built now days are custom cab even going to smaller rural fire departments,” Feiro explained. “Our truck has a large cab on the front with seating for six firefighters instead of five and the difference is the engine sits between the driver and the captain seat up front.”

    “And we have spacious room for four other firefighters to sit in the seats and one seat in the corner, a jump seat, that will allow a seventh firefighter to ride in the truck,” he added during the tour.

    “Data has shown that a custom cab is safer than if it happens to be involved in an accident,” Feiro said later. “It’s safer for firefighters onboard than our typical commercial cabs.”

    When walking around the sides of the truck, Feiro told the Times, “One of the perks now instead of the closing cabinets, we go with the roll-up doors. We have so much more space in here than any other truck we have on the department.”

    The back side of Engine 9 has a color combination of red and yellow luminous striping, which is now an NFP requirement, and the front features, Feiro pointed out, look more like Ladder 3 which is their aerial truck.  

GRANTS, DONATIONS AND MORE

    The CFA received just under $233,000 in grants and donations from various sources and a ten-year interest-free loan from the city plus the sale of Engine 8 to the Nielsville Fire Department that allowed them to purchase Engine 9 in what Feiro calls a “multi-faceted finding approach” they’ve never utilized before.

    They received grants and donations from Otto Bremer Trust, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Ottertail Power Company, Enbridge, Walmart, MDU Great Plains Natural Gas, Crookston Valley Co-op, American Crystal Sugar Company, Central Harvest States (with Ag-related tying in to a CoBank match), and from a Facebook campaign. The CFA’s gaming funds also played a part in the purchase, Feiro added.

    “Many thanks to our truck committee which is made up of firefighters in the Association and career firefighters in the department, plus the fire chief (Tim Froeber),” said Fiero. “They took it upon themselves to contact grant opportunities and made donations to help with the purchase of the truck.”

    “Our contracts with the city and townships plus money put away for big purchases like this is a shared cost, shared benefit for all involved.”