City of Menominee Fire Capt. Jeff Sakovitz checks out the department’s new fire engine. It arrived Thursday morning from Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, Wis. After a formal inspection of the vehicle and training sessions by the firefighters, the unit will be put into service. EagleHerald/Mike Desotell
City of Menominee Fire Capt. Jeff Sakovitz checks out the department’s new fire engine. It arrived Thursday morning from Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, Wis. After a formal inspection of the vehicle and training sessions by the firefighters, the unit will be put into service. EagleHerald/Mike Desotell
MENOMINEE - A brand spanking new red fire engine rolled into Menominee Thursday morning from Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, Wis. It was greeted at the doors of the fire house by Fire Chief Mark Petersen and a handful of on-duty firefighters, each eager to give it the once over.

"It's the culmination of a lot of hard work," said Petersen. "A lot of hours spent putting specs together and meeting with vendors. Now that I see the truck that we actually designed, it's pretty nice."

It didn't take long for the chief and his men to notice something was missing. The ladder.

"With it leaving the manufacturer in Appleton and going to a service center, there was some sort of mix up and they forgot to stop down in Oshkosh and pick up the ladder," he said.

Since it'll be a while before the engine is cleared for service, the missing ladder is not a problem. It's just one of the things that Petersen and his crew must check out as part of the inspection process. Every inch of the 31 1/2 -foot vehicle will be inspected. Every light bulb, gauge, pump, knob, handle and hose will be gone over to make sure it's in top shape. And if there are problems?

"The vendor will then have to make those changes, make those repairs," said the chief. "Next week we actually have the training schedule for operating the pump and the foam system, then we will be doing driver's training on it and installing equipment. Once we have everything installed and everyone is trained, it will actually go into service."

The engine is the backbone of the department. It goes out on all calls, from accident scenes and squad calls to grass and structure fires. The city is currently using a 1991 model as its primary engine and a 1981 as the backup. The old 1981 engine will soon be taken out of service and sold and the 1991 engine will then become the reserve.

The new engine is truly state-of-the-art in its features which are designed to help firefighters.

"We're actually going to be able to carry five guys in the cab now versus four; there's more room," explained Petersen. "Entry to the cab with the folding steps is very nice, the guys can get and out quite safely."

Other safety features include high intensity lighting, the ability to refill the breathing apparatus and person-to-person communication through a headphone and microphone system which is tied into the dispatch center.

The bulk of the funds to pay for the engine, just over $350,000, came from an Assistance to Firefighter Grant. The city's share, $93,500, came from the capital improvement budget.