Big Bear Fire department orders Pierce fire Apparatus


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Pierce Manufacturing Inc. has announced that the Big Bear, California Fire Department placed an order for three custom Pierce fire apparatus, including two Pierce Arrow XT 4×4 pumpers and an Ascendant 100’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Tower with mid-mount configuration.

The new fire apparatus purchase is part of a fleet upgrade and replacement initiative for the Department and was coordinated through authorized Pierce dealer, South Coast Fire Equipment, Inc.

Big Bear Fire Department Captain Norman Dykesten explained: “Due to economic challenges and a consolidation nearly 15 years ago, fire apparatus replacements were on hold, making upgrade and replacement initiatives a major priority in recent years.

“As we began the bid process, we appreciated South Coast Fire Equipment’s responsiveness and efforts to introduce configurations we didn’t know existed. The value and quality construction we received from Pierce within our available resources were immense, and we are confident the new fire apparatus will be exactly what we need to continue serving our community.”

Big Bear Fire Department’s new fire apparatus will feature:

Pierce Arrow XT 4×4 Pumpers

  • Arrow XT chassis
  • 500-gallon water tank
  • 1,500 gpm pump
  • Cummins X12 engine
  • Command Zone™ Multiplex Electronics

Ascendant 100’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Tower

  • Arrow XT chassis
  • Mid-mount configuration
  • 300-gallon water tank
  • 2,000 gpm pump
  • Cummins X15 605 hp engine
  • Integrated ground pads
  • 20’ setback capacity
  • 20-degree below grade operation
  • TAK-4 T-3™ Independent Suspension

The fire apparatus order is the first the Big Bear Fire Department has placed with South Coast Fire Equipment. Fleet upgrades also include the addition of a Type 3 Model 34 Wildland vehicle from Boise Mobile Equipment.

The Big Bear Fire Department operates out of four fire stations with 58 personnel and responds to over 4,500 calls per year. The service area is a unique mix of rural, mountainous, and urban neighbourhoods. The jurisdiction includes two resorts offering skiing and snowboarding in the winter, as well as mountain bike trails and golfing in the spring, summer, and fall seasons.

The population for this resort community can fluctuate from approximately 17,800 full time residents to upwards of 250,000 on any given day or holiday weekend, depending on tourist activity. This creates an ever-evolving basis of fire suppression and ambulance needs, for which the Big Bear Fire Department must always be prepared.

Captain Dykesten added: “Although San Bernardino County Fire is able to provide immediate assistance should mutual aid become necessary, one of the biggest challenges Big Bear Fire Department faces is significant additional resources are farther away. The next closest community is 25 miles from us. The commute on mountain highways makes accessibility to critical equipment particularly important for our crew.”

Tim Olley, sales representative at South Coast Fire Equipment commented: “We enjoyed having the opportunity to share all of the advanced features Pierce offers to help the Big Bear Fire Department select apparatus to best fit their needs. Our team looks forward to building our relationship and providing dedicated service support for many years to come.”

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