Hillsdale Fire Chief Scott Hephner announced at a Feb. 5 City Council meeting that the city’s fire department has placed a security deposit for a new ladder truck.
The new truck will replace the city’s current 1983 Pierce LTI ladder truck, which cannot safely operate its ladder. Because of structural corrosion, the current truck’s platform cannot support the weight of firefighters while the ladder is raised.
Hephner said the new truck meets his criteria. Although not entirely new, it has a 100-foot ladder (as opposed to the current truck’s 85-foot ladder) and its lack of a platform will make it easier to operate with the city’s recently-downsized fire department.
“With fewer people, we can still do what people wouldn’t think we could handle with a truck like this,” he said.
According to the purchase agreement the fire department signed, Hillsdale will not be able to access the truck until it has completed its service in Houston in March. The truck will then be sent to a broker firm, which will examine and inspect it before it can be commissioned for Hillsdale.
Additionally, the problem of transportation still remains an issue. On the one hand, the city could drive the truck up to Hillsdale, which could prove costly and dangerous if the truck were to break down or get a flat tire. On the other hand, the city could ships the truck up to Hillsdale on a flat-bed truck, which would also prove costly.
Speaking at the same meeting, Mayor Adam Stockford reaffirmed his support for public safety departments.
“This council is dead serious about finding sustainable support for public safety,” he said. “But we need to look at all the options.”