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JASON CHANEY/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Crook County Fire and Rescue members show their new firefighting aparatus.

Being a firefighter takes grit, determination and a strong desire to help those in danger.

But without the proper equipment, firefighters would not be able to do their job.

In the fall of 2016, Crook County Fire and Rescue personnel began looking at how they were going to replace some of their aging equipment.

"We had a 1979 structure engine, which we'd had since 1979, and as you can imagine, some upgrades in safety and operational functionality had occurred in the 40 years since the department had bought that," pointed out CCFR Battalion Chief and Fire Marshal Russ Deboodt.

In addition to the 40-year-old structure engine, a good share of the firefighting fleet was outdated, so they began looking into ways to finance some new equipment.

"The plan was put together to utilize a low-interest loan, which at the time, rates were very low, to take out a 10-year note," Deboodt said.

They secured a $1 million 10-year loan in 2017, enabling the department to replace five pieces of apparatus.

With the funding, the department purchased a 2018 Pierce Saber structure engine, a 2017 International interface engine, a 2017 International water tender, and two 2017 F550 Type 6 wildland engines.

"On the EMS side of things, we also replaced a 2005 ambulance this year with a brand new 2018 ambulance," Deboodt said, adding that it was not part of the loan.

Four of those new rigs came from Prineville's own Ochoco Manufacturing Corporation.

"OMCO had a significant portion of the build," Deboodt said. "From an economic standpoint, it was an excellent opportunity for us to upgrade our operational capabilities, but it was also a great opportunity for us to utilize a local vendor in purchasing a lot of that."

Deboodt pointed out that having a local vendor also makes vehicle maintenance easier.

"They're here locally, and they're great to work with," Deboodt said. "A lot of that funding stayed here in Prineville."

Aside from replacing the 1979 structure engine, the new equipment also replaced two 1986 wildland engines, a 1979 water tender, and an interface engine.

The old equipment was either sold on a government bidding website or sold to a small fire department in the area.

"There's been some small residual revenue from those to come in," Deboodt said.

The new additions to the fleet allowed the department to upgrade all of the equipment at all three stations.

"The 1979 Kenworth was in one of our substations, so the new engine is here at our main station, but that allowed us to send one of our newer engines out there to replace it," Deboodt said. "It really has helped upgrade our capabilities throughout the district."

The current CCFR roster has 54 responding firefighters of varying ranks, whether they're career, part-time or volunteer. They cover three stations, Prineville, Powell Butte and Juniper Canyon.

With the new firefighting equipment comes some new training, but Deboodt said the learning curve is worth it.

"They're in excellent shape. They do the job very well. They're safe," he said of the new equipment. "They've been a great addition to the operational capabilities of the fire department."

Crook County Fire and Rescue Fleet

Station 1201 - Prineville

2018 Pierce Structure Engine

2000 E One Structure Engine

2017 International Interface Engine

2017 International Water Tender

2017 F550 Wildland Engine

2003 F550 Wildland Engine

2010 Northstar Ambulance

2015 Horton Ambulance

2018 Horton Ambulance

Station 1202 – Powell Butte

2006 E One Structure Engine

2007 International Interface Engine

2012 International Water Tender

2008 Northstar Ambulance

Station 1203 – Juniper Canyon

2006 E One Structure Engine

2007 International Interface Engine

2015 International Water Tender

2017 F550 Wildland Engine

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