La Grande OR Ladder Truck Reaches New Heights

The La Grande Fire Department has debuted a new apparatus, an aerial truck the measures 46 feet long, weighs 30 tons and can extend its platform to 101 feet.

La Grande’s old aerial reached the end of its useful life some time ago, when it started flunking annual certification testing done by Underwriters Laboratory.

The old truck sported a 90-foot snorkel aerial platform and articulating boom the City of La Grande bought in 1968. The boom was refurbished and mounted on a new Freightliner chassis in 1995, but as time went by the need for a new model became urgent.

The new apparatus was purchased with a a $643,600 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters program. The city kicked in a $101,000 match.

The department settled on a truck from General Fire Apparatus in Spokane (WA) and received a hefty discount on the chassis. The chassis, built by Spartan for Rosenbaur Fire Apparatus in Lyons (SD) was a 2010 model Rosenbaur wanted to move out of its inventory.

The vehicle is also equipped with a 1,750-gallon-per-minute water pump and a 300-gallon water tank. It is also capable of carrying up to 1,000 feet of five-inch-diameter hose. The vehicle uses so-called “smart” technology to help firefighters with safe driving and fire pump and aerial operations.

The new aerial isn’t in service yet, because the department is waiting for ordered fire hose, nozzles and assorted equipment to arrive.

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