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Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Times Standard/Beacon Correspondent

The Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department Company No. 4 Hydesville Station recently obtained a wildland-urban interface fire apparatus.

FVFD Company No. 4 put together a committee to decide on the purchase of a new truck. The committee had to first weigh the difference between a new truck versus a newer used model with low mileage.

After months of research, the committee determined the best option for rounding out the firefighting fleet of the Fortuna Fire Protection District was to purchase a newer used truck, and therefore put Engine 7433 into service at the Hydesville Station on Feb. 24.

FVFD Company No. 4 2nd Lt. Jim Colby explains, “We weighed heavily on the issue to buy new or used and felt that this unit offered the best of both worlds being in like new condition and having virtually everything we were looking for.”

”This engine will not only cover the wildland-urban interface issue but also handle structure fire assignments,” he said.

The engine was originally purchased from Florida by Whatcom County Fire District No. 4 in Washington state. FVFD then purchased the 2008 Pierce 4x4 Wildland Contender with 8,300 original miles.

The FVFD will be retiring and eventually selling Engine 7423, a 1981 Ford Pumper which served as the downtown attack engine for a number of years before being moved to the Hydesville station as a hose supply unit. Later, it was moved to the Campton Heights station as a reserve engine for the district.

”While we do not have a major wildland fire threat with-in our fire district, there have been many times where our access was limited due to apparatus ability,” Colby said. “This unit will give us a little more diversity throughout the area we serve while being universal enough to handle both wildland and structure type fires.”

According to Company No. 4 Capt. Robin Newman, “The current fleet of the Fortuna Fire Protection District consists of two pumpers, one 100-foot aerial platform, and one medium duty rescue out of the downtown station with a 50-foot aerial in reserve. One pumper and one 3,000-gallon water tender out of the Campton Heights station with one pumper in reserve. Out of the Hydesville station are one attack pumper, one wildland interface pumper, one 2,000 gallon water tender, and a light duty rescue.”

Company No. 4 has 13 members made up of a captain, 1st lieutenant, 2nd lieutenant, and firefighters. The company uses a pager system to improve response time to calls.

”The community has been very supportive of our company,” said Colby, who has been with the department for 10 years. “Training has increased and come a long way over the years.”

”There have been a lot of positive changes in the Fire Department in Company No. 4,” said Newman, who has been with the department for 25 years. “Community interactions have increased, and the fire agency interactions have all moved in a positive direction. The community sees us as more of a professional unit.”

New addition to Company No. 4, firefighter Ron Grimm used to be a Forest Service firefighter.

”I felt like it was a good fit.,” Grimm said. “I wanted to get involved and serve the local community, and what better way than to join what I see as a group of good people that are doing just that.”

”It was easy to get involved after I saw their reaction to a fire and how they took care in the individuals involved,” he said.

Colby can be reached at Jcolby@fortunafire.com for information about the department and their new engine.

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Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

Firefighter Ron Grimm (right), Capt. Robin Newman (center), and 2nd Lt. Jim Colby stand ready with their newly acquired 2008 Pierce 4x4 Wildland Contender Engine 7433 at the Hydesville Station.