With the addition of a new truck to their fleet, Onida firefighters will be able to more efficiently respond to fire and rescue scenarios.

The Onida Fire Department received their new truck over the weekend.

The 2004 model year truck replaces the truck the department bought new in 1982 and the rescue truck.

“The old truck pumped 750 gallons per minute and had a 500 gallon tank,” said OFD Chief Caleb Shepherd. “This new truck pumps 1250 gallons per minute and has a 1500 gallon tank.”

Caleb relates that the new truck came to the OFD via the Pierre Fire Department. “They have a replacement program in place for their trucks,” said Caleb. “They were looking to get rid of a truck at the same time we were looking to get one.”

OFD Training Officer Josh Bakker says that the new truck will better serve the OFD. “We won’t have to roll out multiple vehicles to a car wreck,” said Josh. “We can take out this one truck, and put out fires and perform rescues. We can get a rescue truck and an ambulance on scene with fewer people.”

Caleb agrees. “It fits our community better.”

He added, “We were able to buy the truck at a reasonable price, and the Pierre Fire Department was glad to help a neighboring community out.”

Many of the Onida Fire Departments 30 volunteer firefighters work outside the Onida community. “If you look at the overall schematics of the department, there are 30 of us and 17 are EMTs, with how many of us working in Pierre and all over the place,” said Josh. “It’s an engine and a rescue truck. We can put out a fire on scene and make better use of our tools.”

Everybody’s excited about the new truck,” said Caleb. “It’s a huge update to what we have, and the City of Onida played a big role in helping us acquire the truck with support and funding on it – as well as others, but the city was a major contributor.”