Moorhead gets new fire truck
The shiny new replacement for Moorhead's 27-year-old ladder truck rolled into the Fire Department's garage this week. The truck is 40 feet of candy-apple red paint and shining chrome, topped with a 100-foot-long ladder holding a bucket that can c...
The shiny new replacement for Moorhead's 27-year-old ladder truck rolled into the Fire Department's garage this week.
The truck is 40 feet of candy-apple red paint and shining chrome, topped with a 100-foot-long ladder holding a bucket that can carry 500 pounds, fully extended.
Manufactured by Pierce Co. of Appleton, Wis., the addition to Moorhead's seven-truck fleet cost $663,483. The city set aside money for seven years to pay for it.
"I definitely think it's going to be a lot nicer to run than the old truck," said firefighter Rob Kari, pointing out the truck's automatic features.
The new truck's ladder is 15 feet longer than the one it replaces, and it should reach the top of a seven-story building, said Fire Chief Marty Soeth.
The ladder is the truck's main asset. It's not a pump truck, though it has a small, 300-gallon water tank. Instead, it's used primarily to rescue victims from fires or dangling from heights, like the high-angle rescue at Cargill in West Fargo this week, Soeth said.
At fires not requiring high-level rescues, the truck can be used to allow firefighters to ventilate buildings -- chopping holes in the roof to allow hot air and smoke to escape, Kari said.
Though the truck could show up at fires throughout Clay County, because of Moorhead's mutual aid agreement, it won't be going out on every call, said firefighter Gary Larsen.
Instead, it will be sent habitually to fires where it likely will be needed -- at dormitories, stores or industrial businesses -- and only to large house fires, when extra firefighters are called, Larsen said.
And it won't be going to any fires at all for a while. Trainers from the manufacturer are coming in mid-November to explain all the new equipment to Moorhead's staff, Soeth said. Until then, the truck will stay in the garage.
One of the truck's new features is its automation -- it has five scattered computer screens allowing firefighters to check everything from fluid levels to the temperature around the bucket, Larsen said.
Outriggers, four long arms that extend to stabilize the truck while the ladder rises into the air, can automatically level the truck, even lifting the wheels off the ground if necessary, he said.
The bucket also has new features -- firefighters can attach a ladder for climbing down into a hole, a stretcher for pulling out a victim, or a rappelling line for an aerial rescue, Larsen said. Additionally, the bucket has a ledge firefighters can stand on while chopping ventilation holes into a roof.
"You're not putting someone on a roof that could possibly collapse," Larsen said.
Though the old truck is still serviceable -- it's going to be sold to the Crookston Fire Department, for a still-negotiable price -- it had filled up the 25-year time period Moorhead plans to keep its fire trucks, Soeth said.
"As your trucks get older, just like a car, they start to wear out," Soeth said.
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