Not only are Plain Township Fire Department officials planning to purchase a new truck in the coming months, they are planning to buy a vehicle designed for their specific needs.

Not only are Plain Township Fire Department officials planning to purchase a new truck in the coming months, they are planning to buy a vehicle designed for their specific needs.

John Hoovler, PTFD chief, said the Sutphen Co., the manufacturer based in Amlin on the outskirts of Dublin from which the department plans to purchase the truck, and the W.S. Darley & Co. in Chippewa Falls, Wis., have teamed up to create a new fire truck with the best parts from both companies.

In the world of fire trucks, Hoovler said, the two family-owned companies are the best manufacturers and he is proud to have brought them together.

"We like the Sutphen's (truck), but through ... research, we don't like the CAFS (compressed air foam system) they put on their trucks," Hoovler said. "They do like the Darley pump and CAFS system. On the Sutphen truck, that would be perfect."

Jason Darley, who attended the Plain Township trustee meeting Wednesday, Nov. 18, said he is happy his company could finally align with the Sutphen Co. Darley, who is the great-great grandson of the company's founder, said they have been working on a partnership for the last two years.

"It is agreed this is going to be a good relationship moving forward," Darley said. "We're excited to work with Plain Township. We're honored to be standing in this room."

The trustees voted earlier this month to put a $15,000 down payment on a motor for the new truck, which Hoovler said he hopes to purchase before the end of the year and have delivered by the end of 2010.

Hoovler said Sutphen representatives had mentioned a 2- to 4-percent increase in the price after the first of the year.

He also said the department wants to purchase the truck now, as opposed to next year, to dodge the new 2010 emission standards, which would require fire engines to stop emitting nitrogen oxide, among other requirements.

Troy Carothers, of the W.S. Darley & Co., said the CAFS system is an invaluable component of firefighting and should be used in almost every fire situation.

"I believe foam should be used every time," he said. "By adding that one gallon of foam, we make the water twice as able."

The PTFD currently uses a home-built system on one of its trucks.

Carothers said the foam is sprayed onto the fire, just like water, to smother the flames.

He said the compression aspect of the system allows the foam, which is entirely biodegradable, to be sprayed farther, thus protecting the firefighters from the heat of the flames.

"Thirty to 35 percent of all fire trucks built today have some type of foam system," he said. "Everyone who has it loves it. It's the future of firefighting."

Hoovler said the foam system also reduces property damage because less water is needed to put out a fire.

"It's hard to break these old traditions," he said. "It took me a while to be a believer."

Carothers said the foam allows firefighters to use one-seventh the water to put out the fire in about one-seventh the time.

He said the Sutphen Co. has already ordered a CAFS pump from Darley.

"You're going to have the best of two family companies behind this," Carothers said.

Hoovler said he is excited to work with both companies.

"It is still our goal to work with Sutphen and put together the perfect truck," he said. "If they make it, we're going to have it. We think Plain Township could be the first Sutphen/Darley truck."

gmartineau@thisweeknews.com