Morongo Fire Department Chief Kevin Gaines and the new Morongo Fire Engine.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians recently welcomed a new, custom-built KME fire engine packed with the latest computer and firefighting technology to further the Morongo Fire Department’s ability to protect life and property during emergencies on the reservation, across Riverside County and beyond.

The new Morongo fire engine is believed to be the first in Riverside County with a dual pre-plumbed foam system able to carry 20 gallons of standard Class A foam for fighting ordinary fires as well as another 20 gallons of Class B foam for dousing fires involving gasoline or diesel fuel.

“Protecting public safety is very important to Morongo, both on our reservation and in communities all across Riverside County,” said Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin. “With its innovative technology and heightened capabilities, our new Morongo fire engine will help ensure our firefighters are best equipped to protect the lives and property of our tribal members, employees, guests and neighbors.”

The new fire engine is equipped with a 500-gallon water tank, a 1,000-gallons-per minute master stream, and a 1,500-g.p.m. two-stage pump capable of propelling water at high pressure or in high volumes. Advanced technology will help protect firefighters and the public, such as automatically applying brakes to specific axles as needed to prevent skidding as the rig responds to emergencies.

The fire engine also features color-coded fire hoses and corresponding colored LED-equipped gauges and controls to help firefighters easily monitor water and foam tank levels from a far greater distance for maximum efficiency.

“Our department is extremely grateful to work with such a forward-thinking Tribal Council that continues to be deeply committed to public safety,” said Morongo Fire Chief Kevin Gaines. “Providing our firefighters with state-of-the-art equipment and training allows us to provide the best possible service to those in need during a crisis.”

The Morongo Fire Department responds to emergencies on the Morongo Indian Reservation, in neighboring cities across the San Gorgonio Pass and all across the state. In recent years, Morongo firefighters helped battle dozens of devastating wildfires, from the 2018 Camp Fire in Northern California, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, to the 96,000-acre Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles County and the 230,000-acre Carr Fire in Shasta and Trinity counties.


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