For the first time in its history, Liberty Fire Department has a ladder truck. The new apparatus, built for the City of Liberty by Pierce Manufacturing of Appleton, Wis., at a cost of $680,000, was delivered late last week.
The truck is equipped with a 75-foot aluminum ladder that allows access or egress for firefighters while combating fires and allows them to reach fire victims at a greater height. Chief Brian Hurst said a perfect example of the department’s need for a ladder truck are house fires where flames are erupting through the roof.
“We had a house fire on Milam Street about a year or so ago. We needed to get water into the roof because there was a big hole with fire shooting out. We wanted to put water in there to control the fire but the only way to do that was for firefighters to climb onto the roof, and that’s dangerous,” Hurst said. “With the new ladder truck, we can reach out over a fire and shoot water down into it. It’s much safer and more effective.”
According to Pierce Manufacturing, the new ladder truck has a water flow capacity of 1,500 gallons per minute and has a internal storage tank of 400 gallons. Water from pumper trucks help the ladder truck deliver a higher water capacity.
The new ladder truck will be outfitted with gear and hoses from a fire engine it is replacing, Hurst said. The new ladder truck should be completely equipped in the coming days.
Hurst thanked the Liberty City Council and Liberty City Manager Tom Warner for being very supportive of the fire department’s need for the ladder truck.
In addition to Hurst, the fire department is under the supervision of Asst. Chief Steven Grimm and Capt. Eric McDaniel.