The City of Lenoir Fire Department is rolling out three new quick response vehicles (QRVs) next week. Firefighters will drive the QRVs to medical calls, which should reduce response times to health emergencies.
The QRVs are two, new 4x4 Chevrolet 2500 HDs and one Tahoe. All three vehicles can seat up to five firefighters. QRV-1, the red Tahoe with gold lettering is assigned to Station 1 in Downtown Lenoir. QRV-2 and QRV-3 are assigned at Station 2 in Whitnel and Station 3 in Lower Creek, respectively.
The 2500s are white with red striping, gold lettering, and red and white emergency lights. The red stripe starts at the top of the truck bed, runs forward across the rear door, and goes diagonal back to the bottom of the door. The stripe continues forward to the front wheel well forming a "z" on the passenger side of the truck. Lenoir Fire Dept. is written on the side in gold letters, and the station number is on the front side panel in red. The Fire Department badge is on the rear side panels near the tail light and LFD logo is on the front side panels at the rear of the front wheel well. The striping is reversed on the driver side.
Fire Chief Ken Hair said the QRVs should decrease response times to medical calls.
"The QRVs are smaller, faster, and more maneuverable than our big trucks, and we should be able to get closer to the patient with these vehicles," Chief Hair said. "Having the QRVs should improve our response time to medical calls, and every second counts."
More than half of the calls to the Fire Department are medical calls. In 2019, the department responded to more than 1,600 medical calls out of over 3,100 total calls for service. Fires accounted for 129 calls and the rest were hazardous condition/materials spills or leaks, public service calls, rescues, stand-by calls, and false alarms. Running the QRVs will reduce the wear and tear on City fire trucks and save money on fuel. A fire truck gets around four miles to the gallon, while the QRVs will get at least 18.
"That’s 1,600 times one of our large trucks shouldn’t have to run," Hair said, referring to the medical calls.
The QRVs are fitted with lights, a siren, radio equipment, an automated external defibrillator (AED), a medical bag with basic life support kit including oxygen, and a small rescue toolbox. The truck beds are lined with carpet to keep gear from sliding around. Hair said the department hopes to get funding in the future to add an automatic CPR machine to each truck.
The Chevy 2500s will also be able to tow the department's trailers and special equipment to active fire or rescue scenes. The Fire department has an air trailer to fill breathing apparatus, a utility trailer, and staff is converting another trailed into a command trailer.
The QRVs will be active starting at 8:00 am Monday morning, Nov. 22, 2021.
The Fire Department's new quick response vehicles will go into service next week.
QRV-3 will be assigned to Station 3.
Fire Marshall Chris Jacobs sits in the driver's seat of QRV-3.
The tailgate of the Chevy 2500s displays "Lenoir Fire Department" and the City of Lenoir website, www.cityoflenoir.com.
The beds of the 2500s are lined with carpet to prevent gear from sliding around when driving.