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Fire truck 21 designed and built by PEC firefighter at half the replacement cost

On top of saving lives and properties, Prince Edward County firefighter Tim Jones has saved taxpayers a lot of money.
Fire Chief Scott Manlow invited Jones, the department’s mechanic, to Shire Hall on Tuesday to show off the new grass truck he researched, designed and built, to the mayor and councillors attending a Committee of the Whole meeting.
Jones found a 2006 Ford F450 four-wheel drive delivery truck with a 16-foot box and transformed it into Truck 21 – a highly versatile vehicle for grass fires, first response and as a water source truck – at about half the cost of a replacement vehicle.
“The truck is valued at about $60,000 with time and material,” said Manlow. “A replacement would be $120,000 but still wouldn’t have all the specifics and everything we need that Tim built in. And the maneuverability is phenomenal.”
It’s been in service for the past three weeks and has already shown its value in numerous first response medical calls, at a house fire on Big Island and at last week’s marsh fire on County Road 28.

How to make a new grass truck, by Tim Jones.

It rolls from the Mallory Road hall in Hallowell.
“The truck is designed really well,” said Peter Cole, Hallowell District Deputy Chief. “That was made clear in the two recent fires at Big Island and the marsh fire. It can get into back yards easily and got into a lot of places that we couldn’t with a big truck. At the marsh fire it was ’21 we need you here, 21 we need you there.’  It also has a light forestry hose and a special two stage pump that gives us a lot of pressure.”

“Tim researched everything and designed and fabricated the whole thing,” said Manlow. “It meets and surpasses all specifications and includes everything including specialty tires to carry the weight, sliding doors that don’t stick out when parked, roll up doors, LED lighting that is a lot brighter and more visible, a console specific to fire department needs – the list goes on and includes a lot of miscellaneous features that you just can’t buy.”

Truck 21 replaces a 36-year-old vehicle and is a third project for Jones. Now in his fifth year with the fire department, Jones has also created rescue vans for Sophiasburgh and Ameliasburgh and rebuilt a 1,500 gallon pumper tanker for less than half the price and time of sending it away.

The highly-skilled mechanic is modest about his achievements, and continues to focus on improvements for the next task.

“This project was more difficult than the other two,” Jones said. “There’s always a learning curve when you do these things. If I did this again I could probably take a 100 hours off of the time because of all the little things I learned along with way. Now I have this one to copy. It was a long project but I’m already looking at what I would change the next time. For example, the first rescue van was nice, but the second one was a whole lot better.”

He’s a mechanic by trade and has spent a lot of years “playing with race cars”. He also fondly remembers spending a lot of family time at the Picton Cartway in Demorestville, racing and building go-carts.

“I brought Tim and the truck here to show council what we’re capable of,” said the Fire Chief. “This has saved the taxpayers a lot of money and we’re very proud. Tim brings his talents to the table and he’s doing it while looking after 37 apparatus, maintenance on the buildings and his shifts as a firefighter.”

Tim Jones with Truck 21

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  1. Tim Kraemer says:

    Well done Tim! Beautiful craftsmanship.

  2. Lindsay Casey says:

    Wow, amazing job. Super impressed!

  3. Amie Frost-Lewis says:

    Thank you Tim Jones. We need more people like you in the County who help save the County money and not just spend tax payers money!

  4. Chris Keen says:

    Congratulations on this terrific achievement. Let me add two additional words – “performance bonus” for saving the County at least $60,000.

  5. cailey says:

    Great Job Tim! The truck is amazing!

  6. Tina Creasy says:

    Nice to see Tim’s skills being recognized, great job!

  7. theresa durning says:

    Wowser!! This guy is amazing. Where was he when diamond awards were being handed out?

  8. Gary Mooney says:

    What a great story! Tim, thanks so much for your initiative. You set an example for what is possible in County government.

  9. Barb says:

    Very impressive, and what a task to undertake!! I’m wowed 🙂 Very well done Tim Jones, congrats!

  10. Sabrina says:

    Great job to all of the firefighters who helped with truck 21!:) Good work all!

  11. Marie Dawson says:

    Good work, I hope he has patented his design. So he can get the awards he deserves.

  12. chris armstrong says:

    Great job tim, it works as good as it look!

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