For instance, the new fire fighting apparatus could be used to put out a fire from a tractor-trailer carrying petroleum, or could be used to address an incident at Kinder Morgan Energy Partners’ terminal facility — known as the “fuel farm” — located in the Sparks industrial area.
The new vehicle comes four years after being proposed, with Kinder Morgan covering 97 percent of the costs, or more than $150,000, according to Jim Giles, director of operations.
“Not only was Kinder Morgan instrumental in funding nearly all the costs for the new equipment, but they have been proactive in working with our fire department to improve the storage facility’s fire protection system,” Sparks Mayor Geno Martini said. “We greatly appreciate their generous support and partnership in this important endeavor.”
The vehicle was constructed using an existing city fire department vehicle that was fitted with a custom-designed foam delivery system supplied by Kinder Morgan. The new apparatus improves the Sparks Fire Department’s ability to mitigate an incident with greater efficiency and control, increases safety for firefighters and the public and minimizes environmental impacts.
Sparks Fire Department Captain Joe Warner said a few minor outfitting adjustments need to be made and that training also must be done before the new vehicle becomes fully operational.
A demonstration Monday morning showed just how the foam delivery vehicle is used. Hoses connect it to a regular fire engine, which supplies the water. Then, with a turn of a lever, the foam-water mix sprays out at a rate of up to 1,500 gallons per minute, the stream stretching hundreds of feet.
Though no single incident sparked the need for the foam delivery vehicle, it stands ready to serve in the event of a fire at the Kinder Morgan fuel farm, which holds ethanol, gasoline, diesel and even jet fuel, the latter of which is pumped through a pipeline to the Air Force base in Fallon.
Through a memorandum of understanding, Kinder Morgan will allow the fire department to use the vehicle in response to other petroleum-related fires, such as a tanker rollover on Interstate 80.
City officials were on hand to thank Kinder Morgan officials for stepping up and helping improve public safety services during a time when government revenues are increasingly shrinking.
“This project should be considered a model for public-private partnership,” said Tom Garrison, Sparks Fire Department division chief.
The four-year project was also made possible with the support of High Desert Fire Equipment, FoamPro, Hi-Tech Fire Apparatus, Custom Performance Restoration and Advanced Powder Coating, Inc.