Milwaukee Fire Department dedicates new equipment

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Fire Department is putting into use new equipment that will provide a greater level of protection for citizens and firefighters.

Firefighters gathered on Monday morning to dedicate three new pieces of equipment to the force. "I think everybody recognizes the greatest asset the fire department has is its people, but in order for the people to do the best job they can do, they must have the right equipment," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Rescue 1 and Rescue 2 fire trucks, and Ambulance 1 are some of the newest additions to the department.  The Rescue units accompany the Heavy Urban Rescue Team, or HURT. These firefighters are extensively trained in structural collapse, rope rescue, trench rescue and confined space rescue.

"These companies will be staffed by specialized, specially trained, well-disciplined, and highly-motivated firefighters who would be able to respond to all hazards facing the fire department," Milwaukee Fire Department Assistant Chief Paul Conway said.

The addition of Rescue 1 and 2 will also allow for faster response times. "We put a rescue on the south side and on the north side and then they are actually going to respond to most of our fire and rescue emergencies," Milwaukee Fire Department Chief Mark Rohlfing said.

Ambulance 1 will be stationed at 30th and Locust. It will provide basic life support capabilities. "The ambulance is going to go to our highest call volume station, and it will provide backup and relief for that engine company that runs out of that station," Milwaukee Fire Department Battalion Chief Terry Lintonen said.

Most importantly, this equipment will be one more resource to help keep the community and our men and women in uniform safe.