Officials explain how new tanker makes Little Cypress safer in fire response

Published 12:28 am Thursday, November 3, 2022

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LITTLE CYPRESS — When Orange County Emergency Services No. 3 goes to the scene of the next fire, first responders now have some added water capacity to better protect the community.

The department took possession of a 2022 Pierce brand tanker truck last week that has the capacity to hold 3,000 gallons of water.

Assistant Chief Joey Earnest said the new tanker has upgraded safety features the old tanker didn’t possess.

The community has only six to seven fire hydrants, so the additional water capacity is a big plus.

“It will allow us to have more water capacity readily available and to not have to rely as much on mutual aid,” Earnest said.

OCES No. 3 is approximately 39 square miles with a lot of that property in rural areas.

The department has an engine, which is the first truck out and stays on the scene. Now, with the new tanker and the previous one with 3,000-gallon capacity, the community has better protection, Earnest said.

Fire Chief Matt Manshack said the cost of the tanker was approximately $430,000.

“This adds to our capability,” Manshack said of the new tanker.

The tanker was already in production at Pierce when Emergency Services No. 3 bought it, so there was no long wait to receive it.

The department’s previous tanker is a 2000 model and also holds 3,000 gallons.

Manshack said officials have a new engine on order and it will be 18 months before it is received.

— Written by Mary Meaux