Johnsonville FD debuts new pumper truck

by Verla Peichl Falls News Correspondent


THE JOHNSONVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT’S full response pumper truck is displayed in front of the Johnsonville Fire Station. Sitting in the driver’s seat is firefighter Larry Gumm. Pictured standing left to right are Fire Chief Richard Herzog, Fire Chief Assistant No. 2 David Johanning, Fire Chief Assistant No. 1 Chad Curtiss, Fire and firefighter Captain Kevin Reyer. 
Falls NewsphotobyVerlaPeichl THE JOHNSONVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT’S full response pumper truck is displayed in front of the Johnsonville Fire Station. Sitting in the driver’s seat is firefighter Larry Gumm. Pictured standing left to right are Fire Chief Richard Herzog, Fire Chief Assistant No. 2 David Johanning, Fire Chief Assistant No. 1 Chad Curtiss, Fire and firefighter Captain Kevin Reyer. Falls NewsphotobyVerlaPeichl The Johnsonville Fire Department recently acquired a new pumper truck, which made its debut in grand style.

The full response pumper truck, which was recently purchased by the town of Sheboygan Falls and the Johnsonville Fire Department, was on display at the Wings and Wheels celebration on Sunday, June 21, where Pastor Rae Ann Beebee blessed the truck before it was christened with a bottle of champagne.

“We didn’t break the bottle on the truck,” said Johnsonville Fire Department Assistant Chief No. 2 David Johanning. “We didn’t want to scratch the paint, so we just poured it onto the truck.”

The new pumper truck was purchased through a collaboration between 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 this Sunday, July 5, at the Johnsonville Firehouse.

The full response pumper truck was built by Custom Fire Apparatus of 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 Johnsonville Fire Chief Richard Herzog, “It will be a backup and having a secondary pumper will improve our ISO rating.

“Our 1994 pumper pumped 1,500 gallons per minute and this one pumps 1,750 gallons per minute,” he said, “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 a 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 and 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, including a rolling hose and an electric pump panel, which is used to operate the pump.

In addition, the new pumper has a 20 foot light tower, which can be used to light up a fire scene

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

“This new pumper also has a closed cab,” he said, “Then 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.

The Johnsonville Fire Department has 21 active members, who are always looking to take more on.

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

The Johnsonville 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 now to get familiar with the new truck,” said 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 demonstrations of pumper trucks each of which took them to a number of sites and plac- es 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,” Herzog 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.

The firefighters noted that the entire process was “amazing to see.”

“We would like the community to come to the Johnsonville Firehouse on July 5th 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.”


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