Seats six. Carries enough water to have your own pool party. Miles per gallon nothing to brag about. The Owatonna Fire Department showed off its new fire engine Monday, giving City of Owatonna officials a chance to take a look at their new investment and ask questions. It was also a chance for an average Joe to grab a seat behind the wheel for a few moments.

The vehicle is the twin to another first-out truck in the Owatonna fleet and came with a $750,000 price tag.

They actually configured it with some of the same specs as our current first-out primary fire engine. That allows us to basically have two trucks be similarly equipped in capabilities...The goal was to have two basically identical trucks.

-Owatonna Fire Chief Ed Hoffman

"This one is quite a few years newer. So it has some newer stuff inside, but again, the goal was to have similar pumping capabilities, carries the same water. Our plan is to get it equipped with the same equipment. So it doesn't matter which truck is going, so they have the same capabilities when they go to a call," Hoffman added.

Hoffman says by carrying 1,000 gallons of water, the first firefighters on scene can make progress while volunteers get to the call. The engine has a remote nozzle on the front bumper that can be operated from inside the cab, "It's called Pump-and-Roll. So we can actually be driving. There's a remote control in there. So the officer sitting in the right hand seat can actually control that." Hoffman says it comes into play during a grass fire, for instance. Both of the Owatonna engines have that feature.

The consistency, the capabilities that it offers. And also the services it can offer the community and the surrounding area. It allows for us a lot more consistency. It allows for us many kinds of different emergency response...The biggest thing is also how it operates in inclement weather....Very fortunate to have this in our department.

-Fire Equipment Operator/Engineer Ryan Seykora

Seykora said these two first-out engines are the only ones with air conditioning, which is important considering the gear the fire fighters wear when going to a call. He said the cab on the new truck is even easier to decontaminate after fighting fires, "There's a huge initiative for cancer prevention. There's a high risk of occupational cancer in the fire service, given all the contaminants."

He said it was important for Owatonna to be a two-response truck department, which also comes into action during a mutual aid call.

Owatonna's Newest Fire Engine, Along with some Classics

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