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Fire dept. to get new ladder truck

8/25/2017

By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer

The Montgomery County Fire Dept. was notified last Friday that it will be receiving a $840,910 grant through the Dept. of Homeland Security for a new aerial ladder truck.

The dept. must make a 10 percent match, which totals $84,090.
Fire Chief Mike Mosbey said the match will be well worth it to receive a new ladder truck when the dept. has been using hand-me-downs from other departments for years.

“You only get one shot in your career to make that right,” he said.
The dept. has been relying on a 1980 ladder truck it bought used that is in rapidly deteriorating condition and costly to service, Mosbey said. Prior to that, the dept. bought a used 1968 model that is no longer in service.

Financially, the dept. can’t afford to buy a new truck on its own, Mosbey said.

Mosbey said the dept. outlined its desperate need for a new ladder truck in the application for the grant it submitted last year.

“We’re lucky enough they agreed,” he said.

Mosbey said the dept. has appointed a committee to research what kind of truck best fits the dept.’s needs and the various manufacturers to consider.

A new truck will have to be ordered and will take several months for delivery, he said. From there, the dept. will have to equip the truck and train firefighters on its use.

That process could take up to a year, Mosbey said.

He said the dept. wants a truck with an aerial ladder of at least 70 feet. The current truck has a 100 foot ladder.

Mosbey said a ladder truck is useful for not only tall buildings, but those with large square footage such as Walmart and some factories.
The truck is also useful in urban areas like downtown, where it can stop the spread of a fire from one building to another, he said.
Ladder trucks are useful in some residential situations and for rescue as well, Mosbey said.

Once it arrives, the truck will be housed at fire station 1 on East High Street.