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Kern County Fire Department upgrading an 'aging fleet' starts in Tehachapi

KCFD officials say the new fire engine has the ability to "pump and roll," meaning the 750 gallons of water stored in the vehicle can be sprayed while the engine is moving across the affected area
Posted at 5:15 PM, Nov 17, 2023
  • Video shows the newest piece of equipment at Kern County Fire Station 12 in Tehachapi: a brand-new fire engine
  • The Fire Department says they are in the process of replacing an aging fleet and bringing updated equipment to areas such as Tehachapi is imperative to provide the best service possible to the community
  • The new engine was carefully organized to store all kinds of life-saving equipment, and it keeps in mind the safety of the community and first responders


The Kern County Fire Department (KCFD) got some new equipment, and, a new fire engine is rolling into the Tehachapi neighborhood.

While driving around the block near KCFD Station 12 in Tehachapi, Jon Drucker, an engineer and public information officer for the fire department highlighted a major difference the Tehachapi firefighters have seen with the new engine.

"When they're driving code three, which is lights and sirens, they're being able to be much more visible to the traffic around them, and they said that people are seeing them much quicker," Drucker said.

While most residents will only see the lights and sirens, Drucker says the new engine has many improvements, created with suggestions from firefighters and mechanics.

"We've discovered that these engines are the best way for us to serve our community, as far as overall cost over the lifetime of equipment is considered," said Drucker. "Also, they are the safest for our firefighters as they provide those services."

Every detail is considered to save meaningful time.

"Its placement is thought out. The height of the tools as they're stored on the engines, the hose lines, the height of the hose lines–-the ease of which we can pull them off of the engine…is all much easier and much more thought out on this new equipment," Drucker said.

One of the newest features is a new way to store gear that gets contaminated with dangerous chemicals.

"We'd throw all of our gear in there and we'd be exposed to kinda the off-gassing and the carcinogens that come with that. Now, we have this roll-up door that can close so now it can keep us from the turnouts," said KCFD Tehachapi firefighter Kody Wright.

Drucker said this new engine will help them better serve the mountain community, where every second counts.

"An equipment replacement plan is very, very important to have in place," said Drucker. "New equipment is very important to have because it's going to require less maintenance and we have a less chance of this equipment failing us when we need it the most."

This new engine has been in service in Tehachapi since Sept. 27, and, it's been on a variety of calls in its first month and a half.

"The one thing I would say that they haven't got a chance to do yet is drive it in the snow, but we know that's coming," said Drucker. "This thing is equipped with automatic snow chains which is gonna make that much quicker for the firefighters to be able to respond safely in snowy and icy conditions."

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