The Brookings Fire Department will soon receive a retrofitted "quick attack" vehicle for use during emergencies at the airport, city officials announced this week.

The vehicle replaces a 1993 first-response truck that had limited capacity, said Public Safety Director Chris Wallace. It was outfitted with foam-dispensing equipment and materials, and will be housed at a Cal-Ore Life Flight aircraft hangar.

"This combination small pumper and rescue vehicle will reduce the need to dispatch one of the larger fire trucks to handle smaller fires and rescues," he said. "It will be both more versatile and more cost-effective to operate."

The cost of the new vehicle was $50,199.

"Earlier estimates for the cost of acquiring a new first-response vehicle were much higher," City Manager Gary Milliman noted. "The Public Safety Department re-evaluated their vehicle needs, and we have now acquired two replacement vehicles for less than half the original estimate for one vehicle."

The city took a pump from one fire truck and installed it in the new four-wheel-drive crew-cab vehicle. The new truck is equipped with a 250-gallon water tank, as well as medical and first aid supplies for medical incidents and wildland fire threats.

In addition to lands within the city limits, the city also contracts to provide fire and rescue services to the Upper Chetco and Brookings rural fire districts.

"This will be a lighter-duty assignment for the older truck," Wallace said. "This will also enhance our ability to respond to emergencies at the airport, which is now in the city limits."

As part of its economic development and disaster preparedness plans, the city is working to install a water tank and associated infrastructure and promote other light industrial uses at the airport. The facility, owned by Curry County, will be critical for the community when the Cascadia Fault lets loose and results in major earthquake and tsunami damage.

Wallace noted that Cal-Ore Life Flight currently maintains a mass-care mobile unit at the Brookings Airport, in addition to other emergency equipment.