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Hillsdale Rural Fire Dept buys Contender by Pierce -- First New Fire Apparatus In 63 Years

Published on 4 July 2009

Pierce's Contender (pictured) is the Hillsdale Rural Fire Department's first new fire apparatus for 63 years
Pierce's Contender is the Hillsdale Rural Fire Department's first new fire apparatus for 63 years

Contender is the department's first new fire apparatus in 63 years

Pierce Manufacturing, an Oshkosh Corporation company, today announced it has delivered a Contender® by Pierce custom pumper to the Hillsdale Rural Fire Department in Hillsdale, Mich. With the assistance of a FEMA grant, the department purchased its first new apparatus in 63 years. Prior to this, the department had purchased pre-owned vehicles.

"One of my first priorities as chief was to upgrade our apparatus as the latest vehicle we needed to replace was a pre-owned 1969 vintage pumper with an open back cab. We applied for FEMA grants three years in a row, and I guess the third time was the charm," said Jimmie VanDusen, Hillsdale Rural Fire Department fire chief. "We looked at other brands, but the Contender custom pumper best fit our needs - especially its seating for six and operator-friendly top mount pump panel design."

The versatile Contender custom pumper is engineered to meet the wide-ranging demands of rural Hillsdale County. The vehicle features a 189-inch wheelbase, GVW rating of 40,000 lbs., 370 hp engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission and a raised roof cab for six firefighters. The firefighting systems include a powerful 1250 GPM single stage pump with stainless steel plumbing, 19-inch extended front bumper with hose tray, 1,000 gallon poly water tank with a lifetime warranty, and a hosebed capacity of 1500-feet of 2.5-inch hose and 400-feet of 1.5-inch hose.

"The Contender by Pierce line of Firefighting Apparatus is recognized for its tremendous value and quality," said Wilson Jones, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Fire & Emergency. "It's especially gratifying for us that Hillsdale Rural Department chose Contender when their opportunity to get a new fire truck finally became a reality."

The Hillsdale Rural Fire Department is comprised of one station and 15 volunteer firefighters. The department is located just outside the city limits of Hillsdale, Mich., the county seat for Hillsdale County in the south central portion of the state bordering Indiana and Ohio. The area is home to Hillsdale College, plus numerous industrial, commercial and residential developments. Halt Fire, Inc. of Wixom, Mich., is the Pierce dealer serving all of lower Michigan and the eastern portions of the Upper Peninsula.

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