Beachwood Fire Department has Tallest Ladder in Ohio

The ladder on the Beachwood Fire Department’s newest truck, made in Florida, stretches 137 feet — more than any fire department ladder in Ohio.

The city took ownership of the $800,000 vehicle in October and then firefighters took about three weeks to attach necessary equipment inside and around the truck.

But, the ladder, which now outdistances the former tallest such device in the Beachwood Fire Department by 32 feet, wasn’t brought to the city for sightseeing. Beachwood has several buildings of at least nine stories in heights.

Because the new ladder truck is so tall and stands more erect than previous ladders, it allows the truck on which it is perched (at 45 feet in length) to get closer to the building. This helps firefighters get better access to the roofs of the tall buildings.

The ladder is made of aluminum, unlike the steel of which past ladders were made.

“It’s lighter, and yet it’s very stable,” firefighter/paramedic Don Balog said. “It makes the truck lighter and that makes it easier to drive. But, it’s still 75,000 pounds. It’s not always easy to take corners when your vehicle weighs 75,000 pounds.”

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