NORRIS — It was almost a year in the making but the town of Norris’ newest firefighting vehicle is fully operational and in the field.
Named “Brush 1,” the newest addition to the Norris Fire Department’s arsenal is designed for roadside and brush fires, freeing up heavier trucks for back up if necessary or to cover other, larger calls. The department had a forerunner to the new truck, but according to Norris Fire Chief Joe Bracken, it had seen better days.
“We had been wanting one and had talked to council about it and one of the members of council found this truck in Seneca,” Bracken said. “Council approved for us to get it and it’s taken almost a year but with the town’s help, it’s up and running.”
Originally a flatbed, the truck had to be modified in order to meet the department’s needs.
“We put a new bed on it, had boxes built for it, added some odds and ends and the town equipped through donations for equipment,” Bracken said. “It has 100 feet of hose, saws and brush fire equipment, some medical supplies, although we don’t do medical calls. The town really came through with its donations and helped us get this finished.”
Designed to handle smaller fires, Brush 1 has already proven its worth.
“We’ve already had one situation this year where our brush truck was able to get in where our trucks weren’t able, into a wooded area,” Bracken said. “It was more than a hundred feet into some trees and our larger equipment would never have fit, but the brush truck was able to get right in there.”
For a town the size of Norris, the addition of a vital piece of firefighting equipment such as Brush 1 is a major addition.
“Our other truck, we were almost ashamed to take it out, it was so beat up and had been used for so long,” Bracken said. “The town came through and you can see how well the money was spent.”