COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – There isn’t a little boy in America who isn’t fascinated by a fire truck.
Grown-ups know that a shiny new truck can help cut their insurance costs.
The 2012 Pierce tanker truck, is one of a kind.
Custom built for the Columbus Fire Department.
It came with a price tag well into 6 figures, and it will be on duty for at least the next 25 years.
Jonathan Goodman is a new Columbus fire fighter.
I asked him, ” You have to be on your P’s and Q’s when you are driving that thing?”
He responded, ” That’s right.”
With a six speed automatic transmission, the truck safely seats six fire fighters.
You can see its lights a mile away, and it has a larger tank than older models.
Fire fighter Matt Jones explains, ” I just got back from driver, operator (school) down in Jackson. Just got back a week or two ago.”
I asked, ” How long does that class last?”
Matt responded, ” It’s two weeks.” Potential drivers got up to speed in the parking lot near the Farmers Market in Columbus.
Matt explains, ” We did the serpentine course, practicing going in and out of objects, forward and reverse.”
Jonathan adds, ” A lot of times we have a spotter back there backing us, but for this situation, this challenge here, we’re learning how good we can drive the truck, with cones you know.”
A couple of the cones didn’t make it.
Matt explained, ” It can get tight in a regular sized vehicle, so you can imagine something as large as that.”
I stated, ” I have trouble parallel parking my small sedan.”
Matt added, ” It’s tough in that, I promise you that.”
I asked, ” And the truck is only as good as its driver right?
Matt answered, ” That’s true. That’s true, but I’m not driving one yet, so the truck is better than me.”
But Columbus homeowners, take heart, several seasoned are always at the ready, and if your house catches fire, you want see this baby pulling around the corner.
In the new trucks, firefighters don’t hang off the back any more.
Every body has to be in their seat, and buckled in before the truck gets moving.