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In June of 2006, USAR 1 was finally delivered to Station 10. This project, while suited, was not a direct response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Though the unit would have proved invaluable at those times, it was actually well underway and actually hindered by the storms. The events following those storms did in fact help to change the initial concept of this unit into what it has become today. The trailer is a Hackney model, refurbished and custom designed for this application by Ferrara Fire Apparatus in Holden, Louisiana. It is approximately 43 feet long and each side has nine roll-up doors as well as dual canopies. The trailer is equipped with a 60kw generator to power the entire unit and peripheral equipment, shoring capabilities and a 12-foot high viewing platform on the rear. The tractor is an International 4400 DT530, and it was also customized by Ferrara to fit into the scheme and functionality of the unit. The Intek camera, mounted on a 40' mast, provides the command center (cab) with a live color video feed of the incident, which can be simultaneously recorded to VHS. Thermal imaging capability allows for more manageable night operations as well as increased functionality on some haz-mat incidents. A fully-functional weather station will be lofted above the cab to provide real time weather data such as wind speed, direction and barometric pressure. Inside, the laptop has wireless internet, e-mail and printing capabilities, as well as a compliment of incident management software. A satellite receiver and flip-down monitor allow incident command to stay abreast of new information, and three mobile radios in the cab help to ensure interoperability with nearly any agency. The unit houses a plethora of equipment suitable for collapse, trench, confined space or high-angle rescues, haz-mat or mass casualty situations. The unit will carry uniforms and supplies for rescuers as well as medical equipment capable of handling a fifty-patient load. The Gonzales Fire Department recognizes that this magnificent step in public preparedness would not have been possible without the continued support and shared vision of our then Mayor, John A. Berthelot and our City Council. Sincere thanks go out to them and all others who made this possible.


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