As of Friday (January 7, 2010) or latest addition to the fleet of disaster vehicles was placed into full service. We actually took delivery of the 2010 Ford pick-up truck in early October of last year, but just completed the final outfitting on Friday, thus making it completely ready for service! This truck is our first new vehicle since replacing our previous pick-up truck (a 2002 F-250) with our Chevy Suburban back in 2008.
The pick-up truck unit numbered S-2 (the ‘S’ designating it as a support vehicle that handles cargo primarily) came about based in large part on our service during last winter’s ridiculous THREE major snow storms, combining for a record breaking nearly 80 inches of snow. During the storms last year we were asked by the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to help deliver meals to the plow crews operating around the clock to clear snow. We were able to accomplish the task with our two Ford Econoline series vans, both equipped with snow chains, but it was still not without some struggles negotiating the many feet of accumulated snow on the city streets.
We had for some time discussed a need for an additional support vehicle, but the snow storms showed us that we were in definite need of that vehicle to be 4-wheel drive. In June of last year we set out to looking into what vehicles would be best suited for our operations and settled on the Ford F-150 as the best vehicle for the variety of functions we perform.
The truck we purchased is a 4-door, mid-size bed (measuring 6’ 8” in length) equipped with 4 wheel drive and a heavy duty towing package. After the bidding process was complete and we had the vendor approved, we purchased the 2010 Ford F-150 pick-up truck, and proceeded to outfit the vehicle as need to support our local and divisional response operations.
The first item we added was a spray on bed-liner to the rear cargo bed to help protect it during its inevitable heavy future use. Next we had a Lear cargo cap installed to help keep our equipment and supplies out of the elements. We purchased the necessary radios, scanners and lighting and had all of it installed by Havis, a local emergency vehicle outfitter in Warminster, PA which completed the list of necessary upgrades from the truck’s factory form.
Although it has taken us nearly three months to complete the outfitting and make the vehicle 100% ready for response, it has not been sitting idly by. We put the vehicle in service within its first week picking up a donation we received from the division. Additionally the new truck proved ideal for transport during our latest bout with Mother Nature in which we received over a foot of snow the day after Christmas. In support of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Philly the truck allowed us to transport both meals and personnel across the cities snow cover streets safely and without incident.
We hope that this truck will service us well over the coming years as we continue to provide support to communities across the Eastern PA and DE Division. Additionally this newest unit will help us to enhance the capabilities we currently provide, and to continue providing the type of disaster relief and emergency response that our communities have come to expect.
To see more photo’s of our support truck check out our Facebook page at: