KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A new team and equipment that specializes in fighting wildfires were unveiled by Rural Metro Fire, Knox County on Friday morning. While some firefighters have obtained their Red Card to fight wildfires in previous years, the agency is making a concentrated effort to equip them with new engines that can serve more efficiently in future wildland fires.
The Specialty Wildland Team for the county – and the new equipment – were introduced in a press conference at Rural Metro station No. 33 in Corryton. According to Rural Metro spokesperson Jeff Bagwell, the team will be available for deployment in Knox County as well as “anywhere our parent company has contracts with FEMA or other entities such as Cal Fire.”
The unit will be based at the Corryton station and will be able to respond to any area incidents as well as to calls from around the country, if deployed. Team members are attending fire school in Pennsylvania and Colorado for more wildland fire training.
For its new Specialty Wildland Team, Rural Metro has acquired a new brush truck and water tender that are designed specifically for wildfire emergencies.
These two new vehicles have off-road capabilities and are able to “pump and roll” during wildfire events, according to team leader Captain Brad Rettig.
Rettig took questions from the public about the new equipment and explained the process of fighting a wildfire, saying that now the team is “highly trained with the right equipment.”