FOLEY – Foley’s newest fire truck is now in service to meet the growing demand for services in the city.

The Foley Fire Department dedicated the new pumper Wednesday, May 8, with a ceremony at the city’s main fire station.

Chief Joey Darby said the vehicle would be placed in active service immediately after the ceremony.

“Our demand for services has increased drastically,” Darby said. “We’re up about 70% over the last five years. So we need to make sure that the trucks that we get are built the right way and that they are going to be good service trucks for us.”

The 2023 custom-built fire truck is a Rosenbauer Minnesota Commander EXT pumper. The unit has a pumping capacity of 1,500 gallons a minute and a 750 gallon water tank.  

At the event, firefighters, city officials and guests helped push the vehicle into the station to mark the truck’s activation. Darby said the ceremony dates back to the 1800s when horse-drawn fire engines were pushed back into the station by hand.

“This symbolically shows that we are ready for service,” Darby said.

Darby thanked the city officials present at the event for the support provided by the mayor, City Council and administration.

“It’s a great example of our mayor, council and city administration supporting us in all the things that we do to try to make sure that we have the equipment that we need to service this growing community,” Darby said.

Mayor Ralph Hellmich said the city is committed to providing the support needed to help the Fire Department protect citizens of Foley.

“I think it’s just an incredible day,” Hellmich said. “Our goal with the council is to provide the best equipment for the best fire department in Baldwin County.”

Darby said ordering and building a new fire truck takes more than two years.

The project to add the truck began in December 2021 when the vehicle was ordered. Darby said department members worked with the Rosenbauer company to have the truck designed to meet Foley’s needs and built in Minnesota.

Darby said the cost of the truck was about $600,000. The cost of the same truck today would be between $800,000 and $850,000.

He said the department will also add equipment worth between $100,000 and $150,000 to the unit.

An additional Foley Fire Department vehicle, a ladder truck, has also been ordered and is in the process of construction.