AVON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT PUTS NEW ENGINE 11 INTO SERVICE
First Assignment Was A 12-Hour Overnight Standby In East Granby
July 18, 2016 | Avon, CT – In the year since the cab and chassis of the Avon Volunteer Fire Department’s (AVFD) new Engine 11 (E11) arrived in Connecticut, excitement has been building right along with the body of the apparatus. Last month, the AVFD took delivery of the vehicle, and personnel spent several weeks training on the engine. Yesterday, the AVFD officially put the new E11 into service and took the old E11 offline. The first assignment of the new E11 was a 12-hour overnight standby shift with a crew of AVFD volunteers covering East Granby as that community begins the healing process after the tragic loss of its Chief Peter Ahlstrin last week.
“It’s been about 15 years since we replaced fire engines in town,” says AVFD Chief Michael Trick. “Engines 10 and 14 and Ladder 12 are the newest vehicles in our fleet – and they all arrived in 2001.”
The cab and chassis of the new E11 were commissioned to the AVFD’s specifications from Michigan-based Spartan. The vehicle’s body was custom built by Gowans-Knight in Watertown, Connecticut. Custom reflective tape applications were designed and donated by Orafol whose Reflective Solutions Division (formerly Reflexite Corporation) is headquartered in Avon, Connecticut.
Engine 11 carries 750 gallons of water (250 gallons more than its predecessor), and has an enclosed cab, a more powerful engine, state-of-the-art safety systems including cameras on all sides of the vehicle, airbags in the cab, and a seat belt monitoring system to alert the driver to crew members not buckled up. To see images of the progression of the build from start to finish, visit http://www.gowansknight.com/AvonE11082415.htm. Several AVFD members are qualified to operate E11 (currently operating out of Company 1 on Darling Drive), with others scheduled for certification in the coming weeks.
When the new E11 is moved into its permanent home at Company 4 on Huckleberry Hill Road next month, there will be a special “wet down” ceremony welcoming its arrival and the AVFD will officially retire the old Engine 11. Affectionately called “The Mighty Duck” because of its yellow paint, that apparatus is 31 years old. It will be put up for sale.
Currently in production at Gowans-Knight is another new engine for the AVFD. Being built on an identical cab and chassis to E11, it will replace the AVFD’s almost 30-year-old Engine 7. That apparatus is due to be delivered in the fall.
About the AVFD
Incorporated in 1943, the Avon Volunteer Fire Department proudly protects more than 18,000 people living in the 22.6 square mile area that makes up the Town of Avon. The Department’s mission is to provide fire suppression and prevention, life safety and rescue support, as well as other community support to the citizens of the Town of Avon. In addition, the Department provides mutual aid support to those surrounding communities that, in time of need, may request such assistance.
Staffed entirely by volunteers, the Avon Volunteer Fire Department prides itself on the selflessness and dedication of its members. The Department operates six companies and 15 pieces of apparatus, including a brush truck, ladder truck, tanker, rescue vehicle, boat, and pumpers. Four stations are located throughout Town – Company 1 on Darling Drive, Company 2 on Secret Lake Road, Company 3 on West Avon Road, and Company 4 on Huckleberry Hill Road. Anyone interested in learning more about the AVFD should call the Avon Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) at 677-2644, visit www.avonvfd.org, connect on Facebook at AvonVFD, or stop by the Company 1 firehouse located at 25 Darling Drive any Monday evening after 7:00.
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