KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — If you want to find some of the most talented technicians in town, look no further that the Fleet Services crew in charge of maintaining the Knoxville Fire Department’s trucks.
“The guys in this shop, are the guys that have the most qualifications. The best guys we have,” Knoxville Fleet Services Director Nicholas Bradshaw said. “The folks in this shop have to get, in addition to (Automotive Service Excellence certification), have to get emergency technician certifications as well.”
When at full strength, this crew of five members tackles more than 800 work orders a year. Projects that aren’t your typical change the oil service.
“A work order here can take many, many, many, hours due to the complexity, the technology and the size,” Bradshaw said.
“It basically takes a whole day just to do what we consider is a PT maintenance,” supervisor Rick King said. “It’s got a 300 point checklist that we go through. We basically have 70 pieces of rolling equipment that we take care of for the Fire Department.”
Unlike most garages, the crew overseeing KFD’s equipment have to be ready to go at a moment’s notice says Bradshaw.
“They’re on call 24-7.”
An experience King knows all to well.
“If it’s broke down on the side of the road and it’s pouring down rain, we’re going to be laying there on the side of the road in the water trying to get it back up and going,” King said.
At the end of the day, that’s the goal. Keeping KFD’s fleet running, because a malfunctioning truck could mean the difference between life and death.
“Our job is to have a small part in supporting them so that they can do their best work,” Bradshaw tells WATE 6 On Your Side. “We have a great team here.”