Before it even arrived in Covington, the city’s new fire engine was making an appearance at the annual Georgia Fire Service Conference in August, Aug. 9 through 13.
At the unveiling of the new Covington engine number 21, Fire Chief Stoney Bowles told those gathered that the request had come from Sutphen Corporation, manufacturers of fire engines and apparatus. Covington’s new truck was one of the newest, best equipped engines and the company wanted to share the advances it carried with others throughout the state.
The engine doesn’t just carry more water – 750 gallons, versus 500 gallons in the engine purchased in 1993 - equipment storage space has been doubled, a dashboard backup camera augments the work of the spotter, and the cab is air conditioned and has been expanded. There’s even a special cubbyhole for the engine driver’s equipment just behind the cab.
The fire engine meets all the safety standards required by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – and then some, according to Bowles.
“We’re very proud of it,” he said. “It’s the Cadillac of fire engines.”
Costing almost $500,000, the engine replaces a 1993 engine. The 23-year-old engine has “done a great job for the city,” Bowles said, adding they expected to get about the same number of years use from the new truck.
He gave credit to an eight-member Apparatus Committee, which made the recommendation for the purchase and customized outfitting of the Sutphen engine.
“We want people to know we are the pride of Covington,” the fire chief said. Lettering saying that will be put on the cab above the back doors, and “City of Covington” will be added along the sides behind the cab.
City Council Member Hawnethia Williams, Post 2 West, was given a ride in the new engine and upon her return, said, “I know taxpayer money is put to great use for the safety and well-being of the people of Covington.”
She also admitted the ride in the fire engine was “fun.”
Bowles said the engine would be put in service on Labor Day.