When the Granite Falls Fire Department members answer a call and respond to a scene in the future, passersby might get a glimpse of the department’s shiny new truck. The Granite Falls Fire Department recently received a brand new rescue truck, the newest member of the department’s fleet of emergency vehicles.

Now sitting in the Granite Falls Fire Hall is a fresh from the factory rescue truck with a brilliantly shining black and orange paint. This truck, built on a Ford F-650 chassis and the rest of the vehicle built by Pierce, is designed to replace the old 1988 rescue truck that has served the department for the past 29 years.

The old truck has served well throughout the years, but due to the changing needs of the department the truck has been set up for bidding for other departments seeking to purchase it. “We’re shooting for a town close to us to get the truck, that’s what our ultimate goal is. It’s still a good truck, it doesn’t meet our needs now but it will fit very well in another fire department’s hall,” explained Fire Chief Craig Opdahl.

The old truck is designed in a walk-behind/through manner. The middle of the truck can be walked through due to a small ‘hallway’ in the back. However, this hallway is what would be considered wasted space where valuable life-saving tools could be stored. Also looking for a truck with a little more pep for responding to scenes and since the schedule for replacing trucks was standard at 20 years, with some trucks overshooting the 20 year guideline due to previous budget concerns, it was time for the old ‘88 Rescue truck to prepare to say farewell.

Back in 1988, the rescue truck was built at a time when the Fire Department and the Rescue Department were separated. At that time, the truck was the top of the line for Rescue Departments in Minnesota and carried high quality and modern equipment for the times. “Back then when they got that truck, that was the top of the line truck for the state of Minnesota,” explained Opdahl. The new truck has been designed to maximize space to its fullest, a change of pace from the ‘88 truck with its hallway. Looking over the truck, there are numerous compartments for hydraulic equipment, coolers, and a variety of necessary rescue tools. There are compartments upon compartments to hold any type of tool that the department might need.

A multitude of useful add-ons can be found on this new truck, such as an extendable light pole that rises from the top of the truck, LED lights within compartments, numerous scene lights for nighttime operations, chinch hookups, and more. The truck was designed by a panel of five department members who worked together to draft what the department would need and would like to see on the truck. “We basically took different ideas from different trucks and made it our own,” explained Fire Department member Barrett Eggebraaten.

After starting the process in 2015 and signing the contract for the new truck on January 1, 2016, the rescue truck got its start from the ground up. The finished product arrived on February 16, 2017. The plan is to move over the equipment from the old truck to the new one in the next couple weeks, according to Opdahl. “We want to make sure we set it up the way we want it,” he explained.

Once the equipment is all moved over, the new truck will be making its way to the scenes it is needed at, whether thats responding to an accident or providing supposed during fires. The Granite Falls Fire Department will have their new trusty ride to count on as they do their duty to protect the community.