Retired Basin Electric truck reports for fire duty in Hazen

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A truck that formerly served Basin Electric’s Transmission System Maintenance shop in Mandan, ND, will soon grace the streets of Hazen, ND, as part of the city’s volunteer fire department.

All the equipment at Basin Electric’s facilities undergoes regular inspections to ensure its quality, and when it no longer meets the facilities’ needs, it is cycled out of use and either sold through Basin Electric’s Surplus Marketplace or donated through its Charitable Giving Program.

When Stan Burling, a control room operator Basin Electric’s Leland Olds Station in nearby Stanton, ND, and fire chief of Hazen Fire and Rescue, recently learned the truck was being cycled out of use, he applied for a surplus asset donation on the fire department’s behalf. It didn’t take long before his request was approved.

“The donation couldn’t have come at a better time,” Burling says. “We just ordered a new truck, but it hasn’t been delivered yet. And we’re in the process of selling our old one, so we’re just trying to get by until the new one comes.”

After the new truck comes, the donated truck will be used to respond during a second simultaneous rescue event and as a utility vehicle that will pull a trailer that carries extra air for firefighting, hazmat-type resources, some large rescue-type equipment that is used relatively infrequently, and an extra set of hydraulic rescue tools commonly referred to as the “jaws of life.” It will also be used to transport personnel to and from and around an emergency scene as needed. That way the trucks equipped with water and pumps aren’t tied up doing that. Burling says some of the wildfire scenes they’ve responded to have been well over 1,000 acres, so moving personnel from one location to another in those cases can become difficult.

Burling says the truck runs well and has been “impeccably maintained” – there are even detailed records (234 pages) of all its general maintenance and repairs. “When you buy used equipment you usually have to wonder how well the previous owners have taken care of it, but knowing that Basin Electric was the only other owner is a huge benefit. We know this truck was very well taken care of,” he says.

“We are very appreciative of this generous donation. We’ve worked hard to get grants for what we need and we’ve been pretty successful, but city and rural budgets always seem to be pretty tight,” Burling says. “This donation frees up money so we can buy other things we need, like the large-diameter hoses necessary for fire attack and supply. Ours haven’t been replaced since the early ‘80s and were in desperate need of replacing. We thought we’d have to wait at least a year to buy them, but thanks to this donation, we can afford it now.”

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