Normal (IL) Dedicates New Fire Apparatus

Normal Fire Department dedicated an engine and technical rescue vehicle at Headquarters station, 1300 E. College Ave. The technical rescue truck carries a memorial plaque dedicated to Firefighter Jeff Hilton, who helped design it before his unexpected death last year.

“We plan on having these trucks in service for at least 20 years,” Chief Mick Humer said. “We put our most prized possessions into that equipment — our people. We feel very safe in this equipment.”

The 2014 Pierce Saber, called Engine 13, can carry five firefighters and has a 1,500 gallon-per-minute pump with an integrated foam system, extrication tools and other equipment. The $500,000 truck replaces Engine 15 as one of three front-line engines at headquarters.

Squad 12 is a Mutual Aid Box Alarm System Division 41 technical rescue team truck that can respond to natural disasters, structural collapses, trench rescues, high-angle rescues, confined space rescues and rope rescues.

The truck cost $386,000; the department already had the needed equipment for the truck, Humer said, and itreplaces what Humer called “the beer truck” and two trailers.

“Having (Squad 12) memorialized is very honoring to his children and myself,” said Hilton’s wife, Karen Hilton. “He would have been extremely honored. He knew this was exactly what the town department needed.”

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