New Lancaster Fire Ladder Coming
By Peter Jasinski
LANCASTER -- A brand new ladder truck will be delivered to the fire station this week, replacing a vehicle that has been in service for more than 30 years.
“This is extremely important for us,” said Fire Chief Michael Hanson. “The average life-span of one of these is 20 to 25 years and we are obviously well past that.”
Purchase of the truck was approved by a unanimous vote of the Board of Selectmen on Friday.
Total cost to the town is $935,000, which Town Administrator Orlando Pacheco said will be paid off in installments over the next 10 years.
“The interest rates are fairly low, less than 3 percent,” Pacheco said prior to the vote. “By the time we make our first payment, we’ll have had the vehicle 18 months.”
Hanson said the new truck meets all modern safety standards and, unlike the department’s 31-year-old ladder truck, will not have a built-in water pump, which would have required additional maintenance.
The new truck will also have a 109-foot ladder, nearly 35 feet longer than the department’s current ladder.
“It’s not so much for the height as it is for the reach,” said Hanson. “We have a lot of buildings that are further off the road that you can’t access.”
He recalled one building fire several winters ago during which firefighters had to park the truck on the street because of the large snow drifts surrounding the burning building.
“We extended the ladder but we ended up something like 10 feet short,” said Hanson.
The new truck is expected to be delivered by the end of the week so the department can begin training with it this weekend. Its arrival will now make Lancaster’s 29-year-old Engine Three the department’s oldest vehicle. There are also an ambulance and forestry truck that Hanson said he would like to replace next.
“There’s probably three pieces in the next few years,” he said. “For the next year or two, there won’t be any trucks because we’re maintaining things.”
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