Posts Tagged Dekalb FD buys used ladder truck

New aerial for Dekalb (more)

Excerpts from the

The DeKalb Fire Department is inviting the community to a dedication ceremony for the city’s newest fire truck.

The dedication ceremony will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Fire Station 1, 700 Pine St., DeKalb.

The city spent $420,000 last year to buy the 2008 Pierce Quantum 105-foot aerial ladder truck. Northern Illinois University contributed $275,000 as part of its fire service agreement with the city.

The new truck replaces a 1990, 102-foot Grumman AerialCat, nicknamed “Big John,” after 26 years of service that was  named for former DeKalb Fire Department Capt. John Isom, who was influential in the design of the truck.  He died from a fire service-related illness before the truck was put into service. The city bought Big John for $473,000 in 1990.

The new truck will be named “Rip Roaring” as a tribute to former DeKalb Fire Chief Albert “Al” Riippi.  The name was chosen by the community in a voting contest. “Rip Roaring” won the contest with 77 percent of the 636 votes, beating out “Spirit of DeKalb” and “The Baron.”

Riippi first joined the fire department in 1949 after serving in the U.S. Navy and retired in 1986 after almost 30 years of service. He left the city in 1952, but later returned and rejoined the fire department in 1959. He was appointed acting chief in late 1978 and was made the permanent chief the following year.

After the ceremony, firefighters will be available to answer questions and give tours of the station and fire equipment.

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New aerial for Dekalb (more)

Excerpts from the

Dekalb Fire Department officials are holding a communitywide contest to name their new ladder truck and have selected three options for the public to vote on.

The department bought the replacement ladder truck for $420,000 last year with Northern Illinois University contributing $275,000 as part of its fire service agreement with the city.

Firefighters have been training on the new truck, and it will hit the streets around the beginning of May, after the name is revealed.

“Fire departments throughout the county do these sorts of things,” said Pat Erikson, DeKalb firefighter/paramedic and public relations coordinator. “We wanted to continue that tradition in DeKalb. … and to make the community as much a part of the tradition as we are.”

The three concepts the department have chosen are “ ‘RIP’ Roaring,” “Spirit of DeKalb” and “The Baron.”

The first concept is dedicated to former Fire Chief Albert “RIP” Riippi who grew up in DeKalb and played football with Northern Illinois University and joined the fire department in 1959 and retired as chief in 1986.

“Spirit of DeKalb” is meant to incorporate the entire community and what DeKalb stands for, Erikson said.

“The spirit of DeKalb is not just a phrase,” he wrote on the concept plan. “It’s a philosophy that embodies the members of the community and all the members of the DeKalb Fire Department.”

“The Baron” is dedicated to the city’s namesake Baron de Kalb, a French military officer and major general who served in the Continental Army during the revolutionary war.

Community members can vote on the city’s website at Voting is open through April 18.

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New aerial for Dekalb


The new aerial ladder truck just came back from being detailed with the City of DeKalb colors and logos.  A new feature on the design is the #proudlydekalb logo.  DeKalb Fire Chief Eric Hicks stated, “The DeKalb Fire Department is an active supporter within the community from emergency response to community service. Because we believe DeKalb is “America’s Best City” we have prominently displayed #proudlydekalb on our new ladder truck.”

The new aerial ladder truck was purchased from a department in Florida with financial assistance from Northern Illinois University.  The new truck cost $420,000 with $275,000 coming from NIU.  This new addition to the DeKalb Fire Department is another example of the City of DeKalb and Northern Illinois University working together for the good of the community.

“With the residence towers and other high-rise buildings, you need something like that in the unlikely event of a fire,” NIU spokesman Paul Palian said. “Not only to put out a fire, but perhaps a rescue.”

Because DeKalb’s aerial ladder truck is the only means in the immediate area for firefighters to battle fires from above the truck appears at all fires in the city and many of them in cities such as Sycamore, Genoa or Malta.

After almost 26 years of service the previous aerial ladder truck “Big John” was ready to be retired after responding to more than 2,000 fires.  The truck, which was custom built for the city in 1989, was named after captain John Isom, who died of cancer the year the truck was delivered.

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new fire truck for Dekalb FD in IL

Former Weston FL Pierce Quantum tower ladder now serving Dekalb, IL. Dekalb photo

new fire truck for Dekalb FD in IL

Dekalb photo

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Dekalb to buy used aerial

Excerpts from the

After working longer and responding to more fires than most DeKalb firefighters, Big John is ready to retire. Big John is DeKalb’s aerial ladder truck. After almost 26 years, the city plans to retire the truck and buy a used one from a department in Florida with financial assistance from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb Fire Chief Eric Hicks said. The truck, which was built in 1989, was named after Captain John Isom, who died of cancer the year the truck was delivered.

“A vehicle that’s 26 years old, you almost think of it as a member of the department,” Hicks said. “It’s a high-profile vehicle. People know it, whether by name or as something else.”

The city’s new truck will cost $420,000, with $275,000 coming from NIU, and the remainder from city funds. Hicks said the city explored several options, including buying a new truck, which would have cost about $1 million. The city also discussed refurbishing Big John for about $650,000.

From the Dekalb Facebook page:

Our new truck made it home from Florida and is now awaiting decals. Looks pretty good in its new home!

Weston Fire Department tower ladder

Dekalb Fire Department Facebook page

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