The La Verne City Council unanimously authorized Fire Chief Pete Jankowski and City Manager Bob Russi to finalize a contract to purchase a 100-foot aerial ladder fire truck to replace a Sutphen fire truck that is nearly 25 years old.
“It’s neat to buy something with someone else’s money,” Kendrick added, voicing elation that the $1,327,584 expense will not come out of the city’s general funds because the capital cost will be paid from fees levied on developers for projects built in the city. “The developers’ fees will provide the protection needed and train personnel.”
Council members were confident the new truck will enable the fire department to better respond to fires and rescues in taller buildings.
The truck’s total cost includes a $48,000 contingency amount to cover any unexpected changes required, the fire chief said. Construction of the new aerial ladder truck begins as soon as the city signs the contract and the truck will be ready in 10 to 16 months, he added.
“It’s past its service life, but will remain in operation until we get the new truck. When the new truck comes, we will sell the old one at auction as surplus. The proceeds from the sale will go into the city’s Community Facilities District’s account for police, fire and public works capital improvements,” Jankowski reported.
The 1990 truck has a bucket, but not a ladder. The bucket limits rescues from taller buildings to only two civilians because the bucket only holds three and the third must be a firefighter. More time is involved and therefore delays rescues using the bucket. The new truck will be larger, its aerial ladder dramatically improves the rescue timing and the truck includes a 400-gallon water tank.
The Fire Department has 30 sworn firefighters, engineers and captains and three battalion chiefs working out of three stations. All the firefighters are cross-trained as paramedics and nearly all the higher ranked officers are also licensed paramedics.
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