SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – One Southern California fire department is adding a new state-of-the-art tool to its fleet.

The Riverside Fire Department closed the doors on its nearly 20-year-old engine and is now getting the keys to a new, nearly $400,000 rig.

“Dollar for dollar, it’s the best value for a fire engine out there,” said Deputy Chief Mike Esparza.

As part of a 30-year partnership between the California Emergency Management Agency and the Riverside Fire Department, adding this new, upgraded engine to their fleet allows them to tackle nearly anything.

“It’s specifically designed to respond to almost everything,” said Esparza.

“We do EMS, urban search and rescue, and can do type-3 areas for initial earthquake areas,” said Cal EMA Chief Kim Zagaris.

It’s ergonomically designed to access remote, urban and disaster areas. The new rig can turn on a dime, has more accessible ladders and emergency equipment. It is also stocked with an 850 gallon water tank, which is about 300 gallons more than the average in-service engine.

The new engine will be stationed at the department’s facility located south of San Bernadino. When the Riverside Fire Department gets the call from Cal EMA, the rig will be fully staffed by the Riverside team and off to its assignment from anywhere in California to in-need neighboring states.

“It provides additional surge capacity for local government so they can respond without impacting their local fleet,” said Zagaris.

The old rig is said to have responded to nearly every fire in California over the last 15 years.

This isn’t the end for the old engine; it will likely be resold for about $40,000 to $50,000 to a smaller department.

All of Cal EMA’s nearly 130 rescue rigs are on loan to fire departments statewide.

They’re strategically stationed throughout the West Coast, five of which are housed in Sacramento.


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