Portsmouth Fire Chief asks City Council for new ladder truck
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) - The Portsmouth Fire Chief is asking for a new ladder truck. Currently, the fire department only has one ladder truck in service after its backup ladder truck experienced a catastrophic failure.
The 37-year-old truck, called Platform One, has been taken off the streets for good, leaving Ladder One to serve as the city’s only aerial firefighting device.
“As administrators, we have big wish lists and there are a lot of things I’d like to have that I could give them a list of. This is not one of those, this is a life safety issue,” said Chief Christopher Lowery.
Even Ladder One has problems of its own and will eventually have to be repaired. That is why Chief Lowery says the city must purchase a new truck as soon as possible. He has his eyes on a new, state-of-the-art pumper with a ladder on top and he has already spoke with the company that is building it.
“It’s on the factory floor now. It has our name on it with no obligations to us,” said Chief Lowery.
He has requested that City Council approve of an emergency purchase of the truck for about $1.3 million. If City Council were to approve of the purchase this summer, the truck could be in-service by as early as August.
“Eventually, Ladder One is going to become the same issue and we can’t leave the citizens of Portsmouth without an aerial device for four months,” said Chief Lowery.
He said he has spoken with all council members and senses that they understand how important this request is for the safety of the citizens. The request officially hits council’s agenda at the next meeting on May 23, where they will have the opportunity to take action on it.
“They know the need. We’ve got to do this for the citizens. This is a safety issue. This isn’t the chief wanting a new boat for the river or a new brush truck. This is a must-have,” said Chief Lowery.
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