Archive for Thursday, December 21, 2000

New fire truck rolls into town

December 21, 2000

Imagine wearing heavy equipment and climbing a 105-foot ladder to rescue someone from a fire or medical emergency. That's what some area volunteer firefighters are training to do.

In response to heightened development in the area, the Fairmount Township Fire Department recently added a 2000 Smeal Quint truck to its fleet. Fire Chief Allen Goens said the department had discussed the addition for several years.

Goens cited upper levels of some homes in areas like Cedar Lakes and Timberlakes subdivisions, Basehor-Linwood High School, and Glenwood Ridge Elementary as structures that ladders on older trucks can't reach.

Goens described one example that occurred during construction at the high school. Goens said a construction worker fell about 20 feet, but landed 45 feet in the air. Two ladders and a forklift were used to bring the injured person to the ground for medical services.

The new truck will allow firefighters to reach upper levels of structures that are more than two stories high. The truck features a 105-foot aerial ladder, the longest ladder available, plus four ladders ranging from 14 to 35 feet.

State-of-the-art equipment on the truck includes a monitor to help drivers back up, outriggers to stabilize the truck, a diesel kilowatt generator for flood lights and a hose bed. The truck can carry six people, and requires a pumper operator and ladder operator.

Cost for the truck was $448,000. Goens said the truck was acquired at demonstration cost, but hadn't been used.

The chief projects the truck will be put into service sometime in January, after additional equipment arrives. The department has seven trucks in service.

The new truck is housed at the Glenwood Station located at 158th and Metro. The station was originally opened to provide EMS services, but Leavenworth County officials decided to remove ambulance services from the station.

The Fairmount Township Fire Department has 30 volunteer firefighters.

So far this year, the department has responded to 300 emergency calls, including fires, accidents and medical emergencies. This is an increase from the 275 calls the department responded to in 1999. The department responds to calls in Fairmount Township and is available to help other departments. Fairmount Township covers approximately 48 square miles.

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