Mayor Jim Gray and the Lexington Fire Department unveil new Rescue 1

Lexington, Ky. -- The Lexington Fire Department unveiled its new, custom-built fire truck today. Designed by a committee of experienced Lexington firefighters, the new truck will respond to specialized emergencies across Lexington.

“Rescue 1 responds to incidents that require a lot of expertise and specialized equipment,” Fire Chief Kristin Chilton said. “It would be cost prohibitive to train every firefighter for these events, or to duplicate that type of equipment across the other 40-plus fire trucks.” Founded in 2005, Rescue 1 is stationed at Lexington Fire Station 3, 370 Merino St.

“Since 2011 we have invested $17.9 million to improve our firefighting equipment, including $14.3 million on trucks. We have also added two ambulance units, and built two new stations,” Mayor Jim Gray said. “Our investment, and a lot of hard work by our firefighters, have built our fire department into one of the highest ranked departments in the country. Investments like the truck we are unveiling today make Lexington safer.” The new truck cost $826,278, and carries $91,483 in equipment.

The Rescue 1 team has unique training in a number of rescue specialties including:

  • Confined Space Rescue
  • Large Animal Rescue
  • High and Low Angle Rope Rescue
  • Trench Collapse Rescue
  • Structural Collapse Rescue
  • Machinery Entrapment Rescue
  • Swift Water Rescue
  • Rescue Diving
     

Training smaller, more manageable sections of the department to specialize in certain areas is not a new concept for Lexington. “The Rescue Team, combined with our other response teams such as the Hazardous Materials Team, the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Team, our Paramedics, our Fire Prevention Bureaus and other disciplines, allow us to truly be an all-hazards response department,” Chilton said. “Training and equipping a core group of specialists allows us to be prepared for any emergency, and to do it in a cost-effective manner.”

“This new piece of state of the art equipment will serve Lexington well. Its purchase is another example of how Mayor Gray and our council make the safety of our city a top priority,” said Commissioner Ronnie Bastin.

The firefighters who designed the truck used their past experience on the Rescue Team to design a more efficient truck, Chilton said. “The new design will provide greater service with new abilities such as being able to carry 30% more equipment, and a continuous air supply system for our divers.”

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Rescue 1