Excerpts from the MorrisHerald-news.com:
The Morris Fire Protection and Ambulance District’s new ladder truck has the ability to save lives and property in a way no other truck on the fleet has before.
“The tower ladder truck was put in service less than a month ago and has already paid for itself in the property it has protected,” Chief Tracey Steffes said.
At a little more than $1 million, it replaces an old ladder truck which was nearly 20 years old. Morris responds to more than 6,000 calls a year.
“Every year, the ladder is tested and it’s never had a problem. … But for the past three or four years, we’ve had to look at whether we would replace it or refurbish it,” Steffes said. “We could sell it now to a station with fewer calls, where it could last them several years, and we could put that money towards the new truck.”
The minimum cost to restore the old ladder truck would have been $575,000 with only a one-year warranty. The fire department also could sell it for $150,000 and put that money toward the new purchase.
The Dwight Fire Protection District was able to buy the truck, which Steffes said should give them far more years out of it because of a smaller call volume.
The chief said that although the cost to the district may be substantial, the savings to the residents and business are large.
“We just had our (ISO) rating done and we went from a four to a three in town and from an eight to a five in rural areas. The ladder truck has a lot to do with that” Steffes said.
The tower ladder truck is being housed at station 1 because of its size. It also houses ground ladders and other supplies needed on calls.