Centennial, CO

South Metro Fire Rescue replaces decades-old aircraft firefighting vehicles

Heather Willard

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / March 23, 2023

(Centennial, Colo.) The South Metro Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Team is conducting final inspections of two specialized emergency vehicles.

The Oshkosh Strikers cost $1.9 million, split 50-50 by South Metro Rescue and the Centennial Airport Board of Commissioners, as approved in May 2022. The two new vehicles will replace two currently in service that are 34 and 24 years old.

"Red 1" is a 1989 Oshkosh T2500 refurbished in 2014, and "Red 3" is a 1999 E-One Titan II. "Red 1" will be sold, and "Red 3" will be kept as a training vehicle that can also be used as a spare when the new ones require annual maintenance.

The new vehicles will be kept at Station 35, part of the airport’s property, and Station 44 in Parker. South Metro will be responsible for maintenance, upkeep, and insurance but because Centennial Airport is the primary site that the ARFF Unit trains and operates at, the airport is providing financial support for the new technology.

"Centennial Airport and South Metro Fire and Rescue maintain a close partnership and the airport is thrilled to be able to work with SMFR to procure two new Striker units,” an airport representative said in a statement.

“These units will ensure that the South Metro ARFF Unit is well prepared for any aviation-related emergencies that may occur at or near Centennial Airport. Safety is of the utmost importance to both Centennial Airport and South Metro and these new units will continue to strengthen that directive."

The new Striker models each carry a crew of 4 firefighters and have similar fire suppression capabilities to the old ones with 1,500 gallons of water, 210 gallons of foam concentrate and 500 pounds of dry chemical extinguishing material. New features include better visibility for the driver and personnel inside, independent suspension and enhanced LED emergency and scene lights for safety.

“Having identical twin apparatus makes training personnel and operating the vehicles more efficient for our personnel,” explained Eric Hurst, South Metro public information officer.

The trucks will be delivered to the South Metro fleet next week to be fitted with equipment and graphics. Firefighters will begin training on the new trucks soon thereafter.

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Public safety reporter in DougCo, Denver metro. Previously: Pueblo Chieftain public safety reporter, Athens Messenger associate editor. Caffeine fiend, cat mom and lover of all things spooky.

Broomfield, CO

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