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When the department began working on specs for
the new rig, which began three years ago, personnel
sat down with Jerr-Dan, whose parent company is
Oshkosh Trucks. “We didn’t just want this to be a
heavy wrecker,” Jenkins says.” It had to be not only
a wrecker but heavy rescue combined type of unit.
There were no National Fire Protection Associa-
tion standards to really go by when we designed the
vehicle. So, we sat down with the engineers at Jerr-
Dan and our apparatus committee, which consisted
of members from technical rescue, urban search and
rescue, and logistics, both firefighters and officers.”
The vehicle had to be designed from the ground
up. Although it was a basic 60-ton rotatable crane,
MDFR had to design compartments that would hold
not only rigging equipment but heavy rescue tools as
well. “Starting with a clean sheet of paper, we had to
design how radios would be mounted, slide-out trays
for compartments, where to mount rescue tools, etc.,”
When the vehicle was pretty much completed, Jerr-Dan took it around to some shows around the country
to see if it could get some feedback and make any
The thought process was to design the vehicle to be
able to respond not only to motor vehicle accidents with
heavy trucks involved but also train accidents; aircraft
crashes; and agricultural areas, where the department has
to lift cows and horses that become trapped in various
canals located throughout the county.
And, believe it or not, the focus was also on the
need to change tires on apparatus out in the field. “It
has become a nightmare for us to have tires changed
by the one vendor we have to respond in the field,”
Jenkins says. “Traffic has been increasing yearly,
so the possibility to have our own unit in the field
Compartments showing rigging gear and equipment.