Northampton (MA) Fire Department’s ladder truck has failed during several recent fires and officials are considering borrowing money to replace it according to a report published by the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
The city’s fire chief called the 2003 model year aerial a “severe safety hazard” and told city officials he doesn’t trust the truck to work when it’s needed the most, according to the newspaper. The report said the chief told the city councilors that the aerial recently was only able to be raised about six feet before it quit and had to have a mechanic come in to override the system to lower it back into its cradle.
The city’s current truck has a pump and a tank which allow it to work as an engine too, the newspaper reported, but the fire department does not want those features on the replacement aerial. Because the tank and pump were deleted in the specifications, the truck will cost about $1.09 million oppose to upwards of $1.6 million, the paper reported.
The council’s Finance Committee made a positive recommendation to the full nine-member council to buy the new aerial which could be up to 18 months before delivery, the paper reported.
The councilors will now figure out how to pay for the truck, and might borrow money through bonding to make the purchase, the paper reported.