ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Fire Department now has a unique, high-tech firetruck, donated by Ameren Missouri, to help fight underground electrical fires. These fires are uncommon but are especially hazardous to firefighters.
Crews have already used the firetruck to battle complex underground fires in downtown St. Louis and the recent chemical fire in Affton. With the specialized truck, firefighters can put such fires out more quickly and allow service to be restored more quickly, too.
St. Louis is the first city in the nation to have a firetruck designed specifically for this purpose.
“This piece of equipment has already been a game changer for us,” St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said in a statement. “The donated firetruck has proven to be instrumental in multiple fires, and we appreciate Ameren Missouri’s generous donation.”
The new truck uses carbon dioxide and a specialized nozzle to quickly extinguish underground fires, making the process safer as well as quicker.
“In the event of an underground fire, we typically can’t address it until the flames burn themselves out,” Jenkerson explained. “The longer these fires burn, the more damage they can cause to major electrical infrastructure that powers the city.”
The new St. Louis Fire Department truck includes:
- A 4,000-gallon low pressure carbon dioxide (CO2) tank
- A foam agent system
- A specially designed nozzle to fit Ameren Missouri equipment
- A high-pressure pump for high-rise firefighting
- A large dry chemical system
Firefighters can use these tools on various fires, not just underground blazes, involving electrical equipment.
Marty Lyons, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri, said: “We all want to protect the infrastructure that keeps downtown running. Our firetruck donation will help firefighters better handle unique situations like underground fires.
“All of us at Ameren Missouri appreciate the brave members of the St. Louis Fire Department and what they do every day to keep us safe.”