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New safety equipment bolsters Greater Binghamton Airport

The Greater Binghamton Airport got a new vehicle to contain fires and keep the runway safe.

TOWN OF MAINE (WBNG) -- It may look like a space roving vehicle, but the new Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) vehicle at the Greater Binghamton Airport has finally arrived.

"This was part of our entitlement funding from two years ago. The vehicle takes a long time to actually put together because it's so specific. We just got it in stock this week and we're using it," said Broome County Commissioner of Aviation Mark Heefner.

The purpose of the vehicle is to contain a fire or emergency situation until additional help arrives. All equipment on board assists in doing that, including new technology that makes the job easier.

"The equipment was out-dated. So finally we've got on board push button controls. We have forward facing infra-red cameras," said Airport Operations Specialist Michael Norton.

Compared to the older model truck, still on-site and available for use, the newer model allows crews to efficiently keep the runways safe.

"It's meant to be a one man show. One person here can operate this truck and apply 1,500 gallons of water in about two minutes time,"said Rosenbauer Delivery Specialist Karlo Groeneweg.

Airport officials say this is incredibly important, especially since a select few are a part of these safety crews that do so much.

"Our team is very professional and very good, but they don't do the firefighting every single day in, day out, like the actual professionals do. They also have their other duties like snow removal, like ensuring the security at the airport," said Heefner.

Crew members know just how much this new vehicle will help them accomplish their job of keeping everyone safe.

"It's modern technology for us, it's a quicker response for us. It helps us because we're not fumbling around, like I said before, looking for switches and buttons. It's all right there, it's within reach of the driver."

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