Kanwaka Fire Chief Chris Lesser and the nine members of a special committee gave the Kanwaka Township board their "wish list" just to see what would happen.
The list wasn't long. It included only one item, a brand new, $150,000 fire truck.
In the past, the township department has made do with used equipment. A 1980 pickup purchased a couple years ago was typical.
Not this time.
"We got our wish truck," Lesser said.
Thirty feet long, with 1,000 gallons of water storage and a pump that can pour out 1,250 gallons of water per minute, the new pumper truck means the people and businesses in Kanwaka Township are safer than they were when the 1962 truck it replaced was parked at the station.
Lesser said the truck, which went into service last month, will make a big difference a few seconds at a time.
With a 300 horsepower engine, the firefighters will get to the scene faster.
With more automation, the crews will have water flowing faster.
"This truck is so much easier for our firefighters to use and to operate," Lesser said.
Ease of use is important, particularly with an all-volunteer department with limited time for training, Lesser said.
Lesser said the new truck will play an increasingly important role as the township and, therefore, the number of emergencies continue to grow.
"The call load now compared to 10 years ago " has increased dramatically," he said. "The biggest push was the safety of our firefighters and the safety of our public."
-- Kendrick Blackwood's phone message number is 832-7221. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.