The specialized truck was designed to fight underground electrical fires — a rare but complex situation for firefighters. It can quickly extinguish underground fires through the use of a specialized nozzle and carbon dioxide, which Ameren said is a safer and more effective way to battle underground fires.
The $1 million truck took several months for the department and Ameren to design. It uses foam rather than powder to cool the area around an electrical fire in a matter of minutes and expedite the clean-up process. The improved system also cuts down on damage and service interruptions for Ameren customers.
“We all want to protect the infrastructure that keeps downtown running. Our fire truck donation will help firefighters better handle unique situations like underground fires,” Ameren Missouri President Marty Lyons said. “All of us at Ameren Missouri appreciate the brave members of the St. Louis Fire Department, and what they do every day to keep us safe.”
The department received the truck in April and has already put its new tool to the test: Crews used the truck to combat underground fires in downtown St. Louis and a recent chemical fire in Affton.
“In the event of an underground fire, we typically can’t address it until the flames burn themselves out,” St. Louis Fire Department Chief Dennis Jenkerson said. “The longer these fires burn, the more damage they can cause to major electrical infrastructure that powers the city.”
“This piece of equipment has already been a game-changer for us,” he continued. “The donated fire truck has proven to be instrumental in multiple fires and we appreciate Ameren Missouri’s generous donation.”
The new truck boasts a 4,000-gallon low-pressure carbon dioxide tank, a specialized nozzle designed to work with Ameren equipment, a high-pressure pump for high-rise firefighting, and dry chemical and foam agent systems.