The Peosta Fire Department is there to help when help is needed. Runde’s is there to help them when they need a new truck! Recently the Peosta Fire Department picked up a 3500 Chassis cab and converted it into a useful brush fire truck. Check it how the Firestation operates as well as how they go about converting the Truck by Ray Stevens who has been a part of the Peosta Department for over 30 years!
I think it started back in 1948. I’ve been here since about 1979 or 1980.
Is this fire station volunteer based?
There is about 30 fireman and some auxiliary people that are just medical, so we have about 37 total members. Everybody is volunteer and most live right around this area. Somebody will get a call or pager and we come over here and get ready—get enough people and then you take off.
I used to work for the Dubuque Firestation, that’s a job. I was there for 34 years before I retired. Somebody is always staffed there whereas everyone is on call here. Now I’m here as the assistant chief and EMT.
How do you get volunteers?
You get people who come in and request an application. We give them an application to fill out and the police department does a background check or anything else they may need to do. If everything is okay, and we need some people, then the officers get together and talk about them. They have to answer all kinds of questions, like why they want to be a volunteer, if they’re willing to take the classes, and things like that.
They have to take classes. We have people right now that are taking paramedic classes. It’s like two nights a week, for four hours a night, and it takes about nine months to finish.
What made you pick 3500?
“The 2500 we got from you guys is getting a little overloaded and the springs are starting to get a little worn out. We’re keeping it as a spare because it’s still in such good shape. So we decided we were overloaded and wanted something a little bit different, and decided to go with the 3500 so we had enough capacity. It should last us a good 10 years or better. We also bought a Suburban a couple years ago. We use it to run around with, go to classes, or if someone needs to go to town or something—you shouldn’t have to use your own car.
What is a Pumper Truck?
That’s the “stereotypical” fire truck, the big one. They are all roughly the same from the cab back. They generally have a 1500 gallon water tank, gas mask, pump panels, jaws of life, about 400ft of hose and other various tools.
What made you choose Rundes?
When we bought the first truck, we were just looking around for something and Sam Fluhr said they had a beautiful one over at Runde’s. It’s the same way it was when we bought it, without all the stripes and materials on it. It was painted red and everything—you couldn’t beat it. So that’s how we got started.
Then we were looking for a suburban and we looked around at all the dealers, and Sam Fluhr said Runde’s had a real nice one over there. He was talking to Tim Runde, and Tim told him he could get him a really nice deal on it. Runde’s treated us really well on those two, so when we came to get a new one, we went with this truck. They gave us a good price and we wanted a Chevy because of the Duramax.
This building has that fresh construction smell, you guys just expand?
Yep, we have been working on this building all winter. Our volunteers helped out in getting everything built. We have a lot more much-needed space now.
How did you convert the Chassis cab into the Fire Brush Truck it is now?
We bought it as just a chassis cab. Then we bought the box on the back from Tri-State Truck and Repair and they mounted it on. They did all the wiring, put in the inverter box, and put on the LED lights. All the stuff inside the back box came from Sandry Fire Supply. They built it all and put it in, and it’s easy to remove too, which is nice during the winter because you aren’t going to have many grass fires. They put two 100-foot hoses on it for putting out grass fires, a 225-gallon water tank, and a 300-gallon a minute pump. It’s loaded with tools; leaf blowers, chainsaws, clippers, caution tape, extinguisher, towing system on front and back.
Has the truck been on any jobs yet?
It has been out on a few runs. A couple of grass fires, the people who used it said it worked very well.
Do you guys get a lot of fires in Peosta?
Not really. Medical calls are about 85% of the calls that came in. All the businesses and homes are more fire-resistant these days. Storms and stuff like that get a lot of our attention. It seems like our vehicles can sit for weeks some months than other months we’d be out doing something all the time.
Runde’s would like to extend a big thank you to the men and women who volunteer at the Peosta Fire Department for their hard work and selfless efforts!