Cathedral City Fire to roll out new fire truck, iPads

Cathedral City Fire to roll out new fire truck, iPads

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The Cathedral City Fire fleet welcomes a new truck.

"This is a new unit that's got the rescue equipment to better serve our community," said Battalion Chief Eric Hauser, who gave us a sneak peak of the new rig.

Among its fire-fighting features: a 75-foot ladder, a tank that holds 400 gallons of water, and state-of-the-art emergency equipment. The new addition replaces a truck that's served the city for the last 12 years and will now be placed in reserve.

Despite a hefty price tag in the hundreds of thousands, the department says it'll help save money on upkeep and gas. 

"As fire engines age they become high maintenance and become costly to repair," Hauser said.

We asked the department how it could afford the rig when it faces staffing issues. Hauser says the department has a separate budget for equipment, and it's been saving for the truck for years.

"It's important you upgrade your apparatus fleet and this will serve cathedral city for 15 if not 20 years," he added.

The truck will also be equipped with iPads, courtesy of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

"Ten iPads will be internet ready for the firemen to use as a resource," Hauser said.

The iPads are being configured with special software before they go into service later this fall. They'll feature tools that include detailed maps and a way for fire crews to document the scene.

The purpose: to make responding to calls more quick and efficient.

"It's going to be a resource they can use to make better decisions at emergency incidents," Hauser said.

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