Firefighters in Grand Island got a chance to show off their brand new pumper truck Saturday. Officials said they're excited about safety features you probably already have in your own car, like air bags and a back-up camera. It also has an anti-rollover feature, wireless headsets and uses the compressed air foam system, which uses less water to put out a fire. Chief Cory Schmidt said that means less water damage to a property. This 2014 Smeal Pumper, built in Snyder, Nebraska, replaces a 1996 pumper with nearly 100,000 miles. Schmidt said this $478,598 purchase is a start in replacing an aging fleet. "A lot of safety features there. In the past we were seeing increased maintenance costs on our older model of trucks and this should offset some of those costs," he said. The new truck will be housed at Grand Island’s busiest fire station. "Last year out of that station they responded to 1,847 calls, so it's busy,” said Schmidt. “We thought probably a good idea to put at Station 2 because it's under warranty. We want to put it through the paces, make sure everything works while it's covered; so it's going to stay busy and it has been busy." Schmidt said the truck is expected to last at least 20 years. It was shown off at an open house Saturday at Fire Station 1, where firefighters used the opportunity to push safety tips.
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