95' Seagrave Marauder Aerialscope

Tim Olk photo

Excerpts from the Chicago.tribune.com:

A person trapped nearly 100 feet off the ground in Waukegan no longer needs to descend on a ladder guided by a firefighter/paramedic. People can now be rescued and lowered to the ground in a basket attached to the Waukegan Fire Department’s newest piece of equipment. The fire department took possession of its $1.4 million 95-foot Seagrave Aerialscope earlier this month enabling four firefighters and their equipment to reach the top of nearly any building in the city simultaneously.

Lt. Todd Zupec said the new truck is the first of its kind in Illinois. Unlike the older models, no ladder climbing is necessary.

Battalion Chief Brett Stickels said the new truck allows multiple firefighters to more easily reach a victim in need of rescue, or to attack a fire whether in a high-rise building or a traditional home. “We can put a victim on a stretcher, and lay the stretcher in the basket,” Stickels said. “A crane lowers them to the ground. A firefighter can be in the basket with them. It’s better to have the firefighter with (a victim) during the rescue. They descend gently. They don’t have to walk down 100 steps of a ladder anymore.”

Rather than one firefighter climbing a ladder carrying equipment, three to four can ascend together with their gear and move into position for a rescue or to extinguish a fire. While the weight limit is 1,000 pounds when the aerial is at a right angle, it can lift as much as 5,000 pounds when it is at a lesser incline. It can move a car out of distress.

The new truck replaces a 25-year-old 75-foot ladder truck which is well beyond its expected life.