Custom Ford F-250 Is Changing the Firefighting Game

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For one California fire department, a special Ford F-250 is proving far more economical, efficient & badass than their traditional fire truck.

If you’ve never had the pleasure, you may not know that owning and operating a fire truck isn’t cheap. Heck, just driving one of those huge rigs takes an entire crew. Plus, fire departments often operate on shoestring budgets — all of which means you’ve got a real problem on your hands. A problem that “Squad 6,” a custom Ford F-250, aims to solve.

The shiny new Super Duty, which belongs to Heartland Fire & Rescue in El Cajon, California, is already changing the way one community handles emergency calls. Because instead of having to deploy a massive fire truck and huge crew in certain crisis situations, the department is able to instead send their smaller, more manageable Ford F-250.

When you’re responding to lower grade emergencies, the Super Duty is perfectly adequate. It frees up the department’s full-size fire-fighting rig for more critical situations. Not only that, but it only requires one man to operate, which frees up precious resources and dollars.

Veteran firefighter John Oslovar puts the whole situation in perspective with an interesting analogy. “If you’re doing home improvement work on your house, you can pound nails with a big sledgehammer,” Oslovar told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “And it works. But it’s not the most efficient, not the most precise, and really doesn’t work as well as a regular carpenter’s hammer.”


Your average fire truck costs around $1 million to fully outfit, where as an F-250 is cheaper & more fuel efficient. In fact, the Ford set Heartland back only $82,000.


Plus, consider the fact that your average fire truck costs around $1 million to fully outfit. That makes employing more “regular carpenter’s hammers” a sensible solution. A Ford F-250 is cheaper, costs less to fuel, and doesn’t require a big fire truck’s specialized tires. In fact, the custom Super Duty set Heartland back only $82,000. With a full complement of medical and firefighting equipment, it’s fully prepared to respond to a large portion of the department’s 14,000 (and growing) annual emergency calls.

Saving money isn’t the only thing the Squad 6 Ford F-250 is good at, either. According to City Manager Doug Williford, lowering costs “was not the primary factor, but rather the most effective, fastest way to respond to an increasing number of 911 calls to fire.”

Saving cash and keeping citizens safe? Sounds like a job for one special Super Duty!

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Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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