The Unit 9 Project
The Metuchen Fire Department’s newest piece of emergency equipment is Unit 9, a Polaris Ranger - Multi Purpose Response Vehicle (M.P.R.V.) designed to respond to Fire & Medical Emergencies on the Middlesex Greenway, in limited access areas around our community and during special events.
The Metuchen Fire Department
“Protecting Lives & Property Since 1882”
Still 100% Volunteer
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911 Middlesex Ave, Metuchen, NJ 08840
Unit 9 News & Updates
Just like any other piece of fire equipment, Unit 9 requires extensive training to ensure safe and effective operation. Everything from driving the vehicle across different types of terrain to loading & securing it onto its trailer for transport requires practice.
Fortunately we’ve been given permission by St Joseph’s High School to use their property for part of our off road training. By riding along the outer perimeter of the athletic fields at the rear of their property our firefighters get a feel for how the vehicle handles and learn safe operating speeds.
The second part of our training is done along the different sections of the Middlesex County Greenway. The unfinished sections between Liberty Street & New Durham Ave and then over to Middlesex Ave are slightly more challenging than the open fields of St Joe’s. Traveling along the abandon rail line, this course is rougher and more confined providing a better test for operators. The last portion of driver training for Unit 9 is familiarization with the nearly completed and heavily traveled portion of the greenway between Middlesex Ave and Pierson Ave.
Repetition and standardization are the key to becoming proficient at any task. Whether doing laps in open fields or trekking back and forth along the Greenway, training never ends. And with nearly fifty firefighters to train, it can be a long and tedious process.
On Saturday, May 19th the good people at Cross Country Cycles held a Customer Appreciation Day and Fund Raiser for the Metuchen Fire Department. Our firefighters and family members were on scene to help with the event. The public got its first look at Unit 9 and many donated to the cause.
Here is Unit 9 with its new lettering and examples of some of the equipment it will eventually carry.
Metuchen High School Graduation
Wednesday, June 20th 2012 - Members of the Fire Department used Unit 9 to help shuttle elderly & special needs family members back and forth from parking areas to the stadium at the Metuchen High School Graduation. The high heat and humidity had event organizers concerned that some family members may have difficulty attending the event so steps were taken to accommodate their comfort and safety.
In all, Unit 9 and our members transported approximately thirty people to and from their vehicles to the graduation ceremonies, all of whom were very grateful and appreciative.
4th Annual JFK Medical Center 5K Run/Walk
Sunday, July 29th 2012 - MFD UNIT 9 was requested to assist with coverage of the the 4th Annual JFK Medical Center 5K Run/Walk in Roosevelt Park, Edison. Our members operated Unit 9 with a Paramedic from JFK onboard to provide mobile EMS coverage for the event.
The vehicle proved uniquely suited for this type of event since it can operate safely in close proximity to runners & walkers while traveling the race route. Additionally, much of this race included off-road trails and Unit 9 was able to ride parallel to the path no matter what the terrain, allowing participants full use of the trail while remaining close enough to provide help if someone needed it.
National Night Out
Tuesday, August 7th 2012 - This year the MFD brought Unit 9 along with Ladder 5 to National Night Out. The event was held in the Friendly’s parking lot and it was very well attended.
Metuchen Police, EMS, Recreation Commission, a Balloon Artist, a DJ and an Inflatable Obstacle Course were among the many participants & attractions. People lined up to get their pictures taken in the bucket of Ladder 5 and to check out the cab of the truck. But the most popular attraction of the night by far was everyone that waited to sit on Unit 9 for a photo op.