According to a report from The Newport Daily News, the Tiverton (RI) Fire Department (TFD) is now seeking upwards of $900,000 to purchase its own ladder truck after years of relying on neighboring towns that have one. The TFD has not had its own ladder truck since the late 1980s, when the one it owned was retired from service. Over the ensuing years, many attempts have been made to get another one, but it never garnered enough support.
However, this year may be different.
TFD Chief Bruce Reimels said one of his crew fell from a roof fighting a chimney fire and spent six months on sick leave recovering from surgeries and a broken leg.
TFD Captain Josh Ferreira said that the TFD’s engines feature ground ladders with a maximum height of 24 feet, which may reach the gutters of a house but do not go above them to the chimney, if it is needed.
Reimels and Ferreira proposed a budget for a quint to the town council during a Saturday morning budget workshop, a model of fire apparatus that combines a fire engine that carries up to 750 gallons of water with a ladder on its top that can reach heights of 100 feet and not require additional personnel to operate it.
Councilman Jay P. Edwards said it’s time the TFD had an engine with a ladder on it that can’t didn’t have top purchased at Home Depot and stretched up against a fire building.
There is a need for a new engine, said Reimels, because the three engines the town now has at its three fire stations are models from years 2002, 2011, and 2013. The oldest has 185,000 miles on it that translates to an industry standard of 407,000 engine hours, said Reimels. When one of them is down for repairs, a tanker truck that has a hose and pump on it is used as the backup engine.
Reimels, who started as a volunteer with the TFD in 1988, shortly before the town’s previous ladder truck was retired, said a quint would allow access to 95 percent of Tiverton’s buildings.
A quint is more expensive than a pumper, but less expensive than a ladder truck. It would cost approximately $900,000, about a third more than a pumper, which ranges in price from $575,000 to $630,000.