According to a report from The Daily Herald, the St. Charles (IL) Fire Department (SCFD) won’t see its latest purchase for another year, but the anticipation has begun.
Last month, the St. Charles City Council approved the purchase of a $1.3 million aerial ladder that will become the SCFD’s first new 100-foot aerial ladder truck since 2010. It is expected to last the department 25 years. When the new truck arrives, the public works department will sell the SCFD’s 100-foot 1997 aerial ladder truck.
SCFD Chief Scott Swanson said that the department sends its two 100-foot aerial ladder trucks on about 2,000 calls per year. Because of the constant usage, its frontline truck is down for repairs about three months a year. Swanson estimates.
Budget concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the purchase in May 2020. However, the department needed to complete the purchase this month to get a 3.2 percent discount. The city also received $86,000 in additional discounts.
Swanson formed an apparatus committee to ensure the department ordered what was needed. The SCFD even toured other departments to look at their newer vehicles. The department will customize the entire apparatus to fit its needs.
Because there are several three-story high buildings in the city, such as Hotel Baker and Carroll Towers, a 100-foot ladder is a necessity for the SCFD.