After years of anticipation and months of planning, members of the Ottumwa Central Fire Station welcomed a 101-foot-long million-dollar truck to its crew.
In 2013, the Ottumwa City Council unanimously approved the $1.07 million purchase price of the mid-mount platform, aerial vehicle from Rosenbauer America.
“The truck committee did a great job with this; they had many, many meetings [because] with a 101-foot-long truck, you have to make sure to spec every inch. It takes about a year to spec it all out and then usually another year to build,” said Chief Tony Miller while discussing small committee’s countless hours of planning.
The department took all necessary precautions before bringing the new tool home, including bringing along the city mechanic, who will be working on the vehicle when needed, to an inspection.
According to Miller, the station’s current lineup includes trucks from 1996, 2003 and 2005. He explained it has been some time since the department was able to welcome a new truck, which meant he spent Monday morning eagerly awaiting the large delivery. Although the truck has safely arrived in Ottumwa, it will be some time before it makes any house calls.
Miller explained, “this truck is very large, so it will take us a while to learn how to use it.” He further explained that prior to use, crews will be participating in training sessions with a representative from the truck’s manufacturer.
The new truck will feature a handful of technical advances and safety features that include a shutoff for when it is too close to a building. In addition, the vehicle will now allow firefighters to reach the top of Ottumwa’s tallest building, Westgate Towers, which could not have been done with the city’s older-model trucks.
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