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Fort Drum firefighters from Station 3 at Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield stand in front of their new fire engine Feb. 3. With the addition of this apparatus, all three Fort Drum fire stations have a primary fire engine capable of responding to structural fires. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)


Fort Drum Fire and Emergency Services staff welcomes new fire engine at Wheeler-Sack

Mike Strasser

Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Feb. 7, 2022) – Fort Drum firefighters at Station 3 took ownership of a new fire engine that will increase their capabilities and the overall safety of Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield (WSAAF).

The 2021 Pierce Saber fire engine has a 600-gallon water tank, a 1,500-gallon-per-minute pump and six-person cab. Fort Drum Fire Chief Jason Brunet said that Engine 3 will be a critical apparatus for firefighters responding to structural fires in the WSAAF footprint, which includes the airfield, barracks, hangars and other facilities.

“This engine is the missing piece of the puzzle for us,” Brunet said. “It fills a huge void. We were running multiple apparatus on calls that we won’t have to do anymore. Now, all the firefighters can operate out of one piece of equipment.”

Since the fire engine arrived Jan. 31, the crew has washed the engine several times. At first, it was just to remove the film of oil that covered it during transport. After that, it was just a matter of pride.

“It’s always a morale-booster when we get new equipment,” said Fire Lt. Jeremy Bourquin. “It makes you feel more capable of doing your job, and you don’t have the worry of doing more with less. Honestly, we’ve been down an engine for so long, and this really brings us back to standard.”

He said that they were able to make do with another apparatus in the interim, but it did not have quite the same capabilities as a standard fire engine. When the new engine was delivered on Jan. 31, it was a welcomed sight for the entire Fort Drum Fire and Emergency Services team.

“All three fire stations are now equipped with newer engines, and we still have a spare in case one goes down or in maintenance,” Bourquin said.

The last new fire engine on Fort Drum was delivered to Fire Station 2 in March 2021.

Brunet said that he couldn’t be more appreciative of the efforts from the garrison command team in securing the new fire engine.

“We are incredibly grateful for their support,” he said. “This absolutely gets us where we need to be to operate efficiently right now.”