Rio Arriba County Fire Marshal Upgrades Equipment to Maintain Safety

The Draft Commander 3000, purchased through Wies Fire and Safety Equipment Inc.

The Rio Arriba County Fire Marshal’s office has upgraded a mobile pump test laboratory, which will assure that all fire apparatus’ will be tested and maintained. According to Jerome Sanchez, Rio Arriba County Fire Marshal, the 1911 National Fire Protection Association Regulation requires fire departments to test their pumps annually. “Having this laboratory in place is vital to the community, because it helps us certify that our equipment is up-to-par and can be depended on by our fire fighters to keep the citizens of Rio Arriba safe during dangerous situations in which our equipment needs to be used,” said Sanchez. In order to update this piece of equipment, monies were allocated from the fire administration budget; the total cost of the upgrade was between $12,000 and $13,000.

The test lab (Draft Commander 3000) is expected to improve and maintain equipment by informing fire apparatus pump users of gallons per minute (GPM’s), pressure levels, suction and discharge valve leaks, pump impeller shaft package leakage, overheating, pump transmission rotations per  minute (RPM’s), and plumbing leaks.  “Investing in something like this is necessary, especially when you are dealing with potential life and death situations,” said Sanchez. “Our goal is to make sure we are well-equipped and prepared for any situation we are called to and I am confident this will assist us in that.” 

Sanchez added that the piece of equipment will impact the Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of each respective fire district by improving ISO classifications for each department.  It will also allow for discounted insurance premiums and will make insurance more available. Having the equipment in place is only one part of the classification process and according to Sanchez, most of the fire departments in Rio Arriba County have met all of the requirements and those who have not, are working diligently on bettering their classifications.     

-Erika L. Martinez- October, 2011