Home Features Janesville Fire Department Unveils New Wildland Fire Engine

Janesville Fire Department Unveils New Wildland Fire Engine

Janesville Fire District’s new Engine 422 – left to right: Chief Joel Ehrlich, Andy Beck, Terry Cobb Sr., Bill Butterbach, John Ward, Ray White and Ken Holmes Sr.

It took more than a decade of saving to afford it, now the Janesville Fire District is the proud owner of an HME Model 34 Type 3 Wildland fire engine, an awesome tool for firefighters to combat wildfire in the rugged terrain and twisting mountain roads of northeastern California.

The engine is a thing of mechanical beauty and, according to Janesville Fire Chief Joel Ehrlich, can go just about anywhere a need arises. Its specially modified 4-wheel drive gives access to areas that other engines cannot reach like mountain sides and deeply rutted and muddy roads.

The five hundred gallon tank can be emptied completely in under two minutes, hitting a vegetation fire fast and hard in the critical first minutes after crews arrive on-scene.

Janesville Fire board member Ken Holmes Sr. has shepherded the project, saving up money each year for more than a decade until the district could afford to purchase the $365,000 engine.

Along with the immediate benefits to firefighters, the district will also be able to rent the engine to Cal-Fire, either manned or unmanned, to make money for the district and help defray the costs of the purchase.

The engine is technologically advanced and was developed in partnership with Cal-Fire, with innovative features like jump seats which firefighters can sit in and strap on their tanks before leaving the vehicle. The engine also can be used to spray water while the vehicle is moving, another innovation important to crews fighting a fire.

And, of course, nobody wants to be the first to put a scratch on the new fire truck, which has been out on one call so far this summer, but is expected to see a lot of action between now and the end of fire season.

Ken Holmes Sr., points out one of the standout features of the engine- an LED water level display visible to firefighters who are working at a distance from the engine
Along with room for a full crew there is a lot of storage in the engine – Chief Joel Ehrlich shows off one of the ladder bays.



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