You hope to never see the newest piece of firefighting equipment at Fresno Yosemite International Airport up close.
But it should ease your mind to know that the Oshkosh Striker 3000's sophisticated technology adds to the city's firefighting capability.
Equipped with a joystick, computer and infrared capabilities, the Aircraft Rescue Firefighting vehicle can spray 1,200 gallons of water each minute.
The new, 87,000-pound truck cost $650,000 and was 95% funded with a Federal Aviation Administration grant. The city of Fresno paid the remaining share.
It has a capacity of 3,000 gallons -- bringing the vehicle's weight to 111,000 pounds when filled -- and replaces a similar truck with half the capacity.
With a second, 3,000-gallon truck built in 1992, the city has 6,000 gallons of water capacity available at the airport, said Joe Maskovich, the airport's public safety manager.
The city also has access to a third, 1,000-gallon truck owned by the California Air National Guard.
"LAX [Los Angeles International Airport] responds with four trucks, and we have three and a fourth in reserve," Maskovich said.
The 1,500-gallon capacity truck in reserve is being replaced by the new one and boosts the airport's water-spraying capability to 8,500 gallons.
The reserve truck will be housed at a Fresno City Fire Department station near the airport.
The trucks respond to in-flight emergencies an average of three or times weekly, Maskovich said.
"Luckily, we haven't had any crashes, but if we did, we have an overpowering response," he said. "But we are also on the flight line to major airports and we could be a landing spot for an emergency because we have a large runway."
The new truck has a larger water cannon and can shoot water in higher-pressure blasts in sequence with a dry chemical foam from its nozzle system.
"The technology of shooting 'dry chem' in sequence with water creates a smothering effect on fire," said Capt. Paul Presno of the airport's police department.
Infrared technology, which the city's other 1992 truck is not equipped with, could save lives.
The California Air National Guard's truck, a 1987 model, also lacks infrared.
"The forward-looking infrared can see through smoke or fog and that way we are not running over people," said Capt. Javier Lara of the Fresno City Fire Department.
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