Fire department has new brush unit 9.4

Written by David Green.

A new fire-fighting unit has joined the fleet at the Morenci Fire Department, and it came at a very attractive price: $0.

When an area resident watched the department maneuver across open fields to fight a fire, he learned the two all-terrain vehicles in service were actually borrowed.

“He was impressed with our ability to move people and not disturb the land,” said Morenci fire chief Chad Schisler, “and that led to his willingness to donate money.”ranger.brush.jpg

The department was given the go-ahead to select a unit and the cost was covered through an anonymous gift—about $12,000.

A six-wheel Polaris Ranger was chosen, Schisler said, because the department believed the flotation factor was very important. Schisler knew the unit would allow access to areas off road where a larger truck would get mired down. He never enjoys having to call someone with a tractor to pull a truck out of a muddy field.

The ATV is equipped with a 70-gallon water tank, purchased by the Morenci Fire Sirens auxiliary group; a Honda high-pressure water pump; a booster reel with 75 feet of hose; and a two-way radio.

A pair of ground-sweep nozzles are mounted on each corner to allow push-button, one-person operation, if necessary.

During a test of the unit, the use of a nozzle and the ground sweep unit provided eight minutes of water from the 70-gallon tank.

The ATV is also equipped with a Class A biodegradable foam system for initial flame knock-down. This leads to more efficient use of water.

The cost of equipping the unit was paid through donations or through the use of materials already owned by the department.

Schisler sees possible uses beyond fire fighting.

“We’re in the process of fabricating a holder to carry a Stokes rescue basket,” he said.

The Ranger could then be used as a rescue unit to reach territory inaccessible to an ambulance, such as in the case of a hunter falling out of a tree.

The department’s larger brush unit—a truck that also came through a past donation—will be used to tow the Ranger to the scene.

Trailer donations came from Raymond & Stutzman Farm, Harry Burdick, Inergy Automotive (Adrian), Roth Fabricating, United Bank and Trust, Pennington Energy Corporation, General Broach, Haas Door (Wauseon), CC Motors, Crop Production Services (Morenci) and the Morenci Fire Association.

Roth played an additional role by allowing employee and department member Phil Funchion to use factory equipment to do some assembly work.

Schisler said the department has tried for years to secure a grant for an ATV through a nation-wide program, but thanks to a generous donation from a local individual, they can stop submitting that application.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016