By Luke WaackMarch 17, 2009
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - The 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade is the proud owner of a new counterpunch in the fight against fire.
The 562nd Firefighter Detachment, 94th Engineer Battalion, is the first active-duty Army firefighting detachment to receive a HEMTT-based water truck, known as the HEWATT.
"It's an M1142 HEMTT based tactical water truck, with a 2,500-gallon water capacity, and a 500-gallon per minute pump," Wood said.
The detachment will use the HEWATT to compliment their Tactical Firefighting Truck (TFFT). The water truck gives the TFFT thousands of gallons of readily available water to throw at a blaze.
"This is what every fire department wants; it's a perfect setup," said Staff Sgt. Ronald Wood, 562nd Firefighter Det. noncommissioned officer in charge.
"This vehicle (Tactical Firefighting Truck) carries 1,000 gallons of water. At full turret pressure, it will be out of water in three minutes," Wood said.
That's where the HEWATT comes in, giving the TFFT 2,500 gallons of additional water, Wood said. The new truck replaces a semi tractor-trailer tanker that was not easy to use.
"Compared to the old
semi-tractor trailer system, this is 1,000 percent better," Wood said.
"It's easier to get to the scene, we can pump straight off the turret for emergency response and it hooks up easily to the main truck," Wood said.
Soldiers conducted a pump-and-roll exercise at Training Area 207, March 5, to test the new equipment. The unit simulated extinguishing a small aircraft fire on an old helicopter.
The new truck received an excellent grade.
"It was 100 percent; everything went perfect," Wood said.
What's better than one HEWAT' Two, Wood said.
"I would take another one of these trucks in a heartbeat," Wood said.
After the training, Soldiers expressed their thoughts about the new truck.
"I think it's a great vehicle; just to be able to have that much water is important," said Sgt. Michael Wascisin, 562nd Firefighter Detachment.
The HEWAT will be a valuable asset in garrison, and in the field, Wascisin said.
"When you're downrange, there's nowhere to hook up, especially hydrant wise, this truck gives us the ability to do that," Wascisin said.
The new truck helps the 562nd Firefighter Detachment to better assist the local community as well, Wascisin said.
"When people off-post call us needing a lot of water, we now have 2500 gallons to give them. It helps out tremendously," Wascisin said.
With the new truck, the 11 Soldiers of the 562nd Firefighter Detachment are better equipped to stand the watch for the Fort Leonard Wood community.