2017-08-30 / Front Page

Fire companies put new water tankers in service

by Kate Evans


The new Great Cacapon Volunteer Fire Company Tanker 2 sports a phoenix insignia on its rear window, symbolizing the fire department’s rise from the ashes after a July 5, 2016 fire destroyed their former fire station. The phoenix was Assistant Chief Jimmy Reed’s idea, said Fire Chief Matt Grimley. photo by Kate Evans The new Great Cacapon Volunteer Fire Company Tanker 2 sports a phoenix insignia on its rear window, symbolizing the fire department’s rise from the ashes after a July 5, 2016 fire destroyed their former fire station. The phoenix was Assistant Chief Jimmy Reed’s idea, said Fire Chief Matt Grimley. photo by Kate Evans Berkeley Springs and Great Cacapon Volunteer Fire Companies are both sporting new large-capacity water tankers that are now responding to regional fire calls. Each of their tankers has a main tank that can bring 3,000 gallons of water to a fire scene.

Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company Deputy Chief Marshall Younker said that both companies’ new tankers worked great at their first working fire, an August 12 Fulton County barn fire.

Berkeley Springs tanker

Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company Assistant Chief and tanker committee chairman D.J. Zahnow said the new Tanker 1 has a poly material tank with a lifetime warranty that’s capable of carrying 3,000 gallons of water. It features a waterous 1,250 gallons per minute (GPM) PTO pump and three 10-inch rear water dump chutes.


Great Cacapon Volunteer Fire Company Chief Matt Grimley is pictured with Tanker 2. photo by Kate Evans Great Cacapon Volunteer Fire Company Chief Matt Grimley is pictured with Tanker 2. photo by Kate Evans The tanker also carries two portable tanks -- one on each side -- for rural water supply where fire hydrants aren’t available, Zahnow said. One portable tank can hold 3,000 gallons of water and the other portable tank holds 2,500 gallons of water, which has significantly increased their water supply capability.

Their tanker also carries two 200-foot 1.75 inch hand lines and will carry 500 feet of 3-inch hose. It has all LED lighting to lower the power load on the charging system, he said.

The manufacturer was 4 Guys Fire Apparatus in Meyersdale, Pa., who began building the tanker in May. The chassis is a 2017 Kenworth T800 and the 4 Guys custom-built body is made of stainless steel and has a 30-year warranty.


Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company officials are seen with their new water tanker, Tanker 1. Pictured from left, are Firefighter Logan Maravelis, Treasurer Laura Breeden, Vice President Craig Breeden, Asst. Chief D.J. Zahnow and Chief Jami Clark. photo by Kate Shunney Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company officials are seen with their new water tanker, Tanker 1. Pictured from left, are Firefighter Logan Maravelis, Treasurer Laura Breeden, Vice President Craig Breeden, Asst. Chief D.J. Zahnow and Chief Jami Clark. photo by Kate Shunney Zahnow said the fire company decided to replace their 1987 GMC Brigadier tanker (Tanker 12) after a year of repairs following damage in a September 2015 accident. Tanker 12 carried 1,500 gallons of water.

The tanker committee researched models and features, visited other fire departments’ tankers and had demo tankers brought to their station to inspect and test drive, Zahnow said. Fire officials set a budget and specifications then requested bids from four manufacturers.

The total price for the tanker will be around $362,000, which will be paid for by a loan through Leasing 2 in Florida, a company that specializes in fire apparatus loans, he said.

The Berkeley Springs Moose Lodge donated $10,000 to cover the cost of one folding tank and the electric lift.

The fire company picked up the tanker on July 21 after its final inspection. The vehicle was officially placed in service on August 18, Zahnow said. Seven of their company’s firefighters have currently completed their driver training for the tanker and are cleared to drive it.

Zahnow said he’s super pleased with the new tanker and thought their fire company would be able to rely on it for 20 years.

Upcoming Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company fundraisers include a Friday, September 1 boot drive and a fall bingo in November. Zahnow noted that the new tankers allow two fire departments and the South Morgan Volunteer Fire Company to carry 10,000 gallons of water in just three units. He said that South Morgan also has a new tanker on the production line now at 4 Guys that should be here in a few months.

Great Cacapon tanker

The Great Cacapon Volunteer Fire Company’s new tanker has a Peterbilt chassis and an ITI body that holds 3,000 gallons of water in a stainless steel tank with a lifetime warranty, said Great Cacapon Fire Chief Matt Grimley. The body of the truck also carries a lifetime warranty for corrosion and rust.

Their new Tanker 2 replaces the tanker that was lost in the July 5, 2016 fire that destroyed the Great Cacapon fire station. The old tanker carried 1,800 gallons of water.

The new unit, which cost around $350,000, has two 2,100 gallon folding tanks -- one on each side -- that are used for rural water supply and also has three 10-inch rear dump chutes. It has dual four-inch direct fills for two four-inch hose lines to fill it faster. The tanker also has 200-feet of three-inch hose and two 200 foot of 1.75 preconnected hose, which are part of the minimum state standards, Grimley said.

Some insurance money from the fire helped purchase the tanker and the fire company got a loan from CNB for the remainder, he said. It was officially placed in service in late June after a training class. The tanker carries a two-person crew. All of the company’s regular drivers are trained to drive it.

Grimley said the tanker has an 18-speed manual transmission and doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles.

“We tried to keep the cost down,” he said.

One extra Tanker 2 feature is an extended front bumper that holds 100 feet of four inch hose. It also has front bumper water discharge.

Grimley said that the fire company officials decided to get a larger capacity tanker so it could haul more water and possibly help the community’s ISO (Insurance Services Office) ratings that are a factor in home owner insurance rates.

Their new tanker did well at the Fulton County barn fire, Grimley said.

The Great Cacapon Volunteer Fire Company’s new ladder truck (Truck 2) has been used a lot in the community. The combined ladder truck-fire engine, which has a 75-foot ladder, was on loan from the Sterling Volunteer Fire Company after the fire. Great Cacapon fire company officials has since purchased it.

Great Cacapon Volunteer Fire Company recently did a state-certified rope rescue class with equipment that their ladder truck carries. All active volunteer members are now certified in rope rescue, a specialty service which they are now capable of providing in the county, Grimley said. The fire company also just upgraded their vehicle rescue equipment on Rescue Engine 2, which was in the fire and was saved. They can now do any type of vehicle extrication.

Great Cacapon will hold a fundraiser quarter auction on October 14.

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