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Firefighters Dedicate New Pump Tender with Push-In Ceremony
North Blaine County Fire Chief Rich Bauer and Sun Valley Fire Chief Taan Robrahn show off their new pump tender truck.
Saturday, September 17, 2022


Firefighters held a push-in ceremony for their newest fire engine this week as they staged an open house to celebrate the acquisition of the North Blaine County Engine. pump tender.

The push-in ritual dates back to the days of horse-drawn fire wagons when firefighters had to push their equipment into the bay since the horses were unable to, said Taan Robrahn, chief of the Sun Valley Fire Department.

“They had to push the wagon into the firehouse because they couldn’t hit reverse on the steering wheel,” he said.

The truck is based at the Greenhorn Fire Station which, Taan Robrahn pointed out, is strategically placed to deal with fires in the South Valley and North Valley.

The new pump tender, which is about 35 feet long, can hold 2,500 gallons of water compared to 750 gallons in the average truck.

That’s important in a rural area like this where fire coursing through dry grass or woods can grow exponentially fast, Robrahn said.

Such trucks are also capable of applying foam to an area as needed.

The North Blaine County Fire District and Sun Valley Fire Department got the truck a month ago and just in the past two weeks it had already been subject to 39 calls, including a fire that destroyed the Limelight Condominiums in Ketchum and fires at another home in Warm Springs, as well as a trailer fire in The Meadows trailer park south of Ketchum.

That doesn't include the 50-acre fire firefighters responded to east of the transfer station in Ohio Gulch Friday afternoon.

Firefighters also provided structure protection for homes in Smiley Creek when Wood River Valley firefighters were summoned to help as the Ross Fork Fire exploded on Sunday and Monday of Labor Day Weekend.

“The truck is already giving back to the community big time,” said Robrahn.

The Ross Fork Fire is now 37,776 acres, its growth minimized the past couple days by at least an inch of rain over a few days. Containment, meaning there’s a control line that could be expected to stop the fire’s spread, is now 41 percent. While rain has helped, crews are concerned strong winds and dry conditions this weekend could increase fire activity.

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