Fire department adds water tanker
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
The water supply for the Imperial Volunteer Fire Department just grew by 2,000 gallons with the addition of a six-wheel drive tanker.
Last week, the Nebraska Forestry Service delivered a 1989 tanker unit that had previously been in service with the U.S. Air Force.
The forestry service gathers surplus equipment from governmental entities around the country and makes them available to rural fire departments.
The equipment remains property of the forestry service, with the rural department making a one-time lease payment for the use of the equipment.
That payment covers the transportation cost for bringing the equipment to Imperial.
Fire Chief Nick Schultz said the rural department is not obligated to take the equipment if it appears it won’t fill their needs.
In this case, board members of the Imperial rural fire district met Monday and accepted the new tanker. The cost is expected to be approximately $5,000.
Schultz said the increased water capacity will be a boost in fighting rural fires. The department already has one 4x4 tanker that carries 1,200 gallons of water.
This summer, Schultz said they have had to call for additional water from farmers or the coop to help fight some of their fires.
They may not always be available to help so the extra water supply will be key, he said.
Since the tanker is housed in the city fire hall, the unit can also be used on city calls when a hydrant may not be nearby.