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Reno Area Receives New Hazardous Materials Response Vehicle; State-of-the-art truck funded by a U.S. EPA grant

Release Date: 8/19/2003
Contact Information: Steve Frady, Reno F.D. (775) 326-6309; or Mark Merchant, (415) 947-4297

Photo of the new hazardous materials incident emergency response vehicleRENO, Nev. -- Wayne Nastri, the Pacific Southwest regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, today presented the keys to a new hazardous materials incident emergency response vehicle to Reno Mayor Bob Cashell and Fire Chief Chuc Lowden.

"We at the Environmental Protection Agency are very pleased to be able to provide the money for this hazardous materials truck. This collaboration defines what a federal-state-local partnership should be,"

Nastri said. "With this truck stationed here in Reno, the citizens of Washoe County and surrounding residents will be better protected."

The new vehicle was purchased for $249,791.00 with U.S. EPA matching funds awarded to the Reno Fire Department through the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. Reno Fire Department’s match to the grant is about $32,766.00, which has been accomplished through purchase of hazardous materials response equipment for the vehicle. It replaces a White-Volvo vehicle purchased in 1986.

The special purpose emergency response vehicle was purchased from Hi-Tech Fire Apparatus, Inc.-American LaFrance of Northern California. It was built by the American LaFrance Corporation on a Freightliner chassis, has a 350 horsepower engine with an Allison 3066 series transmission, and provides a more reliable response vehicle with greater capabilities.

The unit will be used for hazardous materials incident response operations in Reno, Sparks and the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District. The HazMat team consists of about 27 firefighters from the Sparks Fire Department and 36 from the Reno Fire Department, as well as personnel from the Washoe County Health Department.

Through agreements, some of which are pending, the unit will be used to respond incidents in the Truckee River corridor from the spillway at Lake Tahoe in California to Pyramid Lake to protect from environmental impact should a hazardous materials spill occur.

The vehicle has state of the art computers for identification of substances, new safety equipment and technology for hazardous materials incident operations. It includes a mobile laboratory for chemical identification testing, a state of the art computer system and programming for identification with microwave direct signal capabilities for Internet connections.

In addition, there is monitoring equipment that can detect pollution plume movement or changes, modern communications equipment and upgraded operations equipment for hazardous materials incident site entry including personal protective clothing, non-sparking and other specialized tools, and decontamination equipment.

Cooperative efforts at the federal, state and local level made purchase of the vehicle possible, and cooperative efforts between local governments makes it possible for hazardous materials incident training and emergency response by the respective fire agencies.