L to R: Chip Rice, Andrew Long and Ricky Jordan. Photo by Liz Scherer
Purchase of used ladder truck ‘gains some ISO credit’
The Big Canoe Fire Department (BCFD) is purchasing a 2006 American Lafrance ladder service truck, pending site inspection by fire department members who will take delivery in Texas, according to Fire Chief Ricky Jordan.
With the addition of this ladder truck, Jordan said, “We will gain some additional ISO credit for an aerial device, additional credit for ground ladder storage which we did not have with our previous service truck and also additional credit for an aerial master stream as the ladder does have a nozzle that can be deployed on the tip of the ladder.
In 2006 ISO made some changes to their definitions and requirements and one was on when ladder trucks are required versus a standard service truck. This is due to building height also, they now look at large homes as potential need for additional fire flow. In years past, residences were not part of this calculation.
“Along with ISO credit [currently Big Canoe has an ISO rating of 3] the truck will provide some additional functions that we previously have not had. With the use of a ladder we can deploy firefighters onto the steep roofs which can be hazardous due to steep wet shingles or ice,” he said.
Jordan added commonly chimney fires require someone to go to the top of a building to inspect or remove chimney caps. Doing this while secured to an apparatus mounted ladder verses a portable ladder is a much safer way to handle these situations.
The truck has an elevated ladder with waterway and a total height of 55 feet and Jordan says it is known as a “Tele-squirt” but he adds, “we will probably find a better name.” The truck is smaller in size to those most cities use (commonly 100 feet or greater). Larger trucks could not function in Big Canoe due to their length and weight, he explained.
The truck is being purchased from a sales company, Diamond Rescue Supply in Seminole, Tex. Jordan said BCFD sent their heavy truck mechanic to perform an inspection and the truck was found to be in good condition, based on the year and mileage and felt it was a good truck for our needs.
The POA board approved up to $65,000 for the purchase of the ladder engine and Jordan said a negotiation on the final price is planned this week when they go to Texas to bring the truck back to Big Canoe. Jordan said the plan is for them to return on Tuesday, Oct. 30 or Wednesday, Oct. 31 with the truck, “and praying there are no issues with the drive back like last time [when a truck Big Canoe purchased from a fire station in Pennsylvania had the brakes go out in Tennessee with Big Canoe volunteer firefighter Gary Rhodus behind the wheel].
With the change in seasons, Jordan reminds Big Canoe homeowners to have their chimneys inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep in the area. Rental homes need attention too. While the ladder truck will be on hand soon, firefighters are not anxious to use it for a chimney fire that could have been avoided.