SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Fire Department will deploy a new vehicle custom-designed to save passengers during an airplane fire on Tuesday.
The bright yellow firefighting vehicle got one last look-over before starting duty at Salt Lake City International Airport.
“Tomorrow’s going to be a big day,” said Capt. Michael Stevens.
SLC Fire spent nearly two years customizing the Rosenbauer Panther 2000.
“If we have an aircraft that is on fire or in distress, we need to be able to have one of these units or all of these units out to it within three minutes,” Stevens said.
It holds 3,000 gallons of water and 1,500 gallons of fire-extinguishing chemicals. The new apparatus can discharge more than 1,200 gallons of water per minute.
It’s most impressive asset, however, is a high-reach, extendable turret.
Firefighters will use it to pierce the airplane’s exterior before unleashing water directly on a fire.
“The faster we get there and apply what we have, the better off the scenario is going to be and the more lives we are going to save,” Stevens said.
Salt Lake City firefighters have been training for weeks on how to operate the vehicle, which hopefully won’t get much real-time use.