The Plainview Fire Department ceremoniously pushed its new fire truck into its station Thursday evening and members of the community showed up to celebrate.
The red 2022 Spartan Metro Star Engine is a “quick attack” pumper truck with an estimated 3,000 foot of hose and can pump 1,500 gallons of water per minute. It carries 1,000 gallons of water and 20 gallons of firefighting foam.
It also includes three different size ladders, battery-operated rescue tools, seating for four firefighters and a standard emergency light and siren package.
Fire Chief Bobby Gipson, who has been with the department 32 years, said this is the department’s first firetruck purchase in at least six years and it replaces an engine the department had for 26 years.
The truck was chosen by a committee of firefighters including Training Captain Kevin Goss, Lt. Seth Stephens, Lt. Joe Marks, Equipment Operator Jordan Prater, Equipment Operator Tommy Marquez, and Equipment Operator Cameron Lunsford.
It’s been a big year for the Plainview Fire Department. The team is ending the year with construction of a new station underway, a new (but familiar) fire chief, promotions and new certifications of other veteran firefighters and now a new fire engine.
And on Thursday, the department celebrated by bringing back a decades-old tradition – ceremonially pushing the truck into the station. Gipson, who officially dropped the “interim” part of his Fire Chief title in September, said it’s been at least 35 years since the Plainview Fire Department has actually done it so Thursday provided a fun opportunity to revive the tradition.
After it was pushed into the fire station, Gipson made the official radio call to the City of Plainview officially placing the new truck – Engine 2 – into service.
Plainview Mayor Charles Starnes said the city budgeted $700,000 for the purchase of this apparatus. The cost came in under $570,000, he noted.
Now city leaders and the FD are working to decide what will happen with the retired truck.
Starnes and Gipson both said it’s common practice for retired engines to be handed down to more rural departments or to keep them and use them for training purposes, which Gipson added, allows other resources to remain available should emergencies strike mid-training.