Sheldon, IA—Miami Township (OH) Fire & EMS of Clermont County Ohio, is continually called upon by the community to protect life and property. The service in the Cincinnati suburbs operates four stations 24/7 and continues to invest in apparatus, equipment, and even facilities that help support the people of the community.
Recently the department stepped up for something entirely different—a country music video. Miami Township Fire & EMS personnel and their newest crane rescue now star in the official video, which was released on March 22 for “Big Red Truck (A Firefighters Life),” performed by Nashville singer/songwriter John Riggins. [See the video on YouTube at https://youtu.be/K3kJw1XBfBo.]
The story begins with the department’s need for a unique vehicle to assist Miami Township’s river rescue crew. Ed Lillich, a firefighter, paramedic, and inspector with the department, explains. “Our typical water rescue occurs on a national scenic and protected waterway that does not allow easy access to boat ramps,” said Lillich. “Launching the boat by hand would require the cutting of trees, which is not allowed in the watershed. Launching at a boat ramp for us is up river by boat nearly 45 minutes away, leaving any victim adrift in serious trouble and anyone stranded on a strainer or island hypothermic. We wanted to deploy our 14-foot inflatable boat from the roof of the apparatus over the side of a bridge and into the water.”
Lillich began visiting various crane manufactures at the National Truck Equipment Association’s (NTEA) Work Truck Show and FDIC International in 2016. His search led to conversations with Iowa manufacturer Maintainer Corporation about its Maintainer Custom Bodies (MCB) line of emergency vehicles. That led to the purchase of a technical rescue truck in 2017 that was featured at FDIC International 2017.
“We did not want a crane simply “slapped on” to a rescue body,” said Lillich. “What we found with MCB was a 3D computer model of our apparatus body with the crane installed. Our 4500# electric-over-hydraulic 20-foot-reach crane with 80 feet of cable was installed on a 2017 Ford F-550 4×4 gasoline chassis. It includes a fully integrated torque box design and outriggers not much different than what you find on an aerial apparatus. The design was well thought out, and as far as the construction, fit and finish, we could not be happier.”
The crane is much more than a crane. It is the MCB Scene Commander, which has a Will-Burt Scout Scene light that illuminates to 40,000 lumens. “For the price of a typical light tower, we got a crane and a light tower all in one,” said Lillich. “Why would you have a light tower with only one function? But that’s not it. We also have a wireless color camera installed at the tip that provides a better view of the operation and can record the deployment of our boat or any other rescue for review and for training purposes. The crane has safety devices that prevent the user from getting in trouble with the crane. It has lighted and audible warnings, and if that doesn’t work, the wireless crane controller vibrates in your hand to let you know that something is wrong. These functions are a must for those who are not using the crane on a daily basis and improves the safety for everyone involved.”
This past January, Miami Twp. Fire & EMS was showing off its rescue to another department in Kansas that was considering a similar vehicle. At the same time, Maintainer was already working with John Riggins to use “Big Red Truck” in conjunction with its FDIC International 2018 promotions. “We decided this song would have even more impact with a video,” said Todd Karolczak, marketing Manager at Maintainer. “When we heard that truck would be in action, we asked the department if it would mind us using it in a country music video. I also hoped it might provide some firefighters and their families to be in the shoot. They were excited and very accommodating. The video touches on how the firefighter’s life truly affects the whole
In the video, the hero of the story saves a girl’s life but succumbs himself to the smoke. Because of that, Riggins and Maintainer plan to bring recognition and support to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), which has the mission of honoring and remembering America’s fallen fire heroes. Maintainer will be donating to NFFF in conjunction with its FDIC International activities.
Riggins, who is originally from Indiana and was a firefighter, will be performing live at various times in the MCB booth (#4348) at FDIC International in Indianapolis, Indiana. Performance times will be listed at http://mcbfire.com/FDIC2018. Visitors to the booth can receive a card that allows them to download the “Big Red Truck” single for free to play on their favorite device.
Maintainer will also exhibit a new 15-foot walk-around crane rescue body with Scene Commander on a Ford F550 4×4 chassis. MCB will also show off its redesigned quick-attack vehicle. The unit has a 10-foot body on a Ram 5500 crew cab 4×4 chassis. The vehicle features a CET firefighting system in the bed.
For more information, visit http://mcbfire.com.