Meridian Fire Department makes changes as Meridian grows vertically

Posted at 7:51 AM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 16:31:31-04

MERIDIAN, Idaho — As the City of Meridian grows, buildings are getting taller. Now, the Meridian Fire Department is making some changes to make sure they can respond to any fires in the City of Meridian, including the purchase of a new ladder truck that can go 70 to 90 feet up to fight fires

Last month, the Meridian Fire Department continued a tradition of welcoming a new fire truck, by pushing it into the station. The Fire Chief said for the first time they designed the truck by committee, to ensure the truck meets the department's needs.

"It also is set up for extrication and heavy rescue equipment on it which is really unique," said Kris Blume, the Meridian Fire chief.

This isn't the only change they're making to prepare for buildings like the Union 93 that are under construction.

"It's 84 feet tall. It's going to be the tallest building in meridian," said Rob Fraser with Galena Opportunity Inc, the developer behind the Union 93 project.

When firefighters gear up to fight fires in buildings like this, they face some challenges that aren't there with single-family homes. So the City of Meridian added the installation of the Firefighter Air Replenishment System (FARS) into its building code for these projects.

"If we have an incident on these higher floors, we can bring a lot of resources with us, we can bring water, we can bring a lot of tools, but one thing we have a hard time bringing extra of is air," said Jordan Reese, the Chief of Training for Meridian Fire.

This means instead of firefighters having to go up and down several flights of stairs for more air, they can just go to the stairwell and extinguish these fires faster.

The Union 93 won't be finished for at least a year, but in the meantime, Meridian firefighters are training to respond to any high-rise fires with the new ladder truck, FARS system and a training tower.