Beatrice (NE) Fire Apparatus Makes Debut

Beatrice Fire and Rescue’s new pumper truck arrived at the fire station last month, but the truck hit the streets of Beatrice Wednesday for a training session with several firefighters.

The new $430,000 KME Panther purchased from Firefox Rescue will replace a 1993 Smeal pumper truck that was the first truck out of the station in the case of a fire, and the replacement has several new features.

The truck is generally larger than the one it will replace, and Chief Brian Daake said its important for firefighters to be familiar with the differences before using the truck in an emergency.

One key feature is the ability of a passenger to control key functions in addition to the driver.

Most controls are center-mounted and the truck features two monitors on the center console, one angled for the driver and the other toward the passenger, allowing operation from either position, meaning the driver can better focus on the road.

“One safety feature added is a backup camera and what’s nice with this system is it’s set up where if we have somebody following too close, whoever is on the passenger side can activate the backup camera and see where they’re at,” Daake said. “The monitor shows which seats are occupied, which seatbelts are on, the lights that are on and if doors are closed.”

Each monitor also shows vehicle information such as speed, oil pressure and RPMs.

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