Johnsonville welcomes new state-of-the-art pumper

by Verla Peichl Review Correspondent


The Johnsonville Fire Department’s Full Response Pumper is being displayed in front of the firehouse by the pumper truck committee: Larry Gumm, firefighter, in driver’s seat; (standing, left to right) Richard Herzog, fire chief; David Johanning, fire chief assistant # 2; Chad Curtiss, fire chief assistant #1; and Kevin Reyer, captain firefirefighter. — Review photo by Verla Peichl The Johnsonville Fire Department’s Full Response Pumper is being displayed in front of the firehouse by the pumper truck committee: Larry Gumm, firefighter, in driver’s seat; (standing, left to right) Richard Herzog, fire chief; David Johanning, fire chief assistant # 2; Chad Curtiss, fire chief assistant #1; and Kevin Reyer, captain firefirefighter. — Review photo by Verla Peichl JOHNSONVILLE — The Johnsonville Fire Department has a new pumper truck and it has been made ready to work in style.

The full-response pumper, which was recently purchased by the town of Sheboygan Falls and the Johnsonville Fire Department, was on display at the Wings and Wheels celebration where Pastor Rae Ann Beebe blessed the truck and it was then christened with a bottle of champagne.

“We didn’t break the bottle on the truck,” said Assistant Chief #2, David Johanning. “We didn’t want scratch the paint so we just poured it onto the truck.”

The entire idea was spearheaded by the Town Board.

This new pumper truck was purchased in conjunction of the Sheboygan Falls Town Board, the Johnsonville Fire Department and the Johnsonville Firefighters at a cost of $620,000.

The department put in $105,000 and the firefighters put in $15,000.

These numbers make it important for the community to participate in their annual fundraiser, Sausage Fest, which takes place Sunday, July 5, at the Johnsonville Firehouse.

The full-response pumper was built by Custom Fire Apparatus in Osceola. It was a necessary purchase because state fire rules require that all 20-year-old trucks need to be replaced.

“Our 1994 pumper will still be used,” said Fire Chief Richard Herzog. “It will be a backup and having a secondary pumper this will improve our ISO rating.

“Our 1994 pumper pumped 1500 gallons per minute and this one pumps 1750 gallons per minute,” said Herzog. “It was custom built. It can hold seven people versus six like in the other pumper.”

The new pumper has a compressed air foam system that allow the truck to use less water on a home fire so there’s less water damage. It will use one-quarter of the amount of water as before and be able to do the job the same or better.

On board there is a cascade system which fills breathing air bottles. This is an especially good feature which the other truck didn’t have. The old pumper didn’t have a compressed foam system either.

The firefighters explained many of the features that are different from the 1994 pumper. They include a rolling hose; an electric pump panel which is used to operate the pump; and a 20-foot light tower which will be used to light up the fire scene.

“Our other truck had a telescopic, manual light, but not like this,” they said. “This light could light up a football field because it is far more powerful.”

“This new pumper has a closed cab,” said Herzog. “The operator can stay in the cab and operate whatever is needed to help the other firefighters. Overall, this will make us unbelievably more efficient.”

The decision to purchase this pumper was made by 100 percent of the firefighters. Johnsonville Fire Department has 21 active members and they are always looking to take more on.

“It’s hard to get new members,” said firefighter Larry Gumm. “It’s a commitment.”

The firefighters meet on the first and third Mondays of the month. The meetings are in the evening and they are either drills or working on training.

“We’ve been having more meetings right now to get familiar with the new truck,” said Capt. Kevin Reyer.

The committee members all volunteered their time and have been working on this project for about three years. During those three years they attended different firefighter shows, went to trucks all of which took demonstrations of pumper them to a number of sites and places including Indianapolis.

“We wanted to do a good job with our research and we all had an interest in setting down ground work that would help with the final decision,” they all said.

The group noted that they were a good committee and worked well together. They even went to the Custom Apparatus Co. because they wanted to see how they did things and found that everything is cut with a laser and the entire process is amazing to see.

“We would like the community to come to the Johnsonville Firehouse on July 5 and support our Sausage Fest fundraiser and see our new pumper,” said Herzog. “There will be plenty of food and music from 10 in the morning until six in the evening.”

The Johnsonville Fire Department always puts forth their best interests and enjoys giving back to the community. Join them on July 5 for their annual Sausage Fest.


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