Sunday, April 22, 2001

Village gets ladder fire truck

Vehicle will give firefighters stability on roofs

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        AMBERLEY VILLAGE — After about two years of talking and planning, this small, affluent Hamilton County suburb recently took delivery of its first ladder fire truck.

        The new $470,000 truck was delivered this month and the community's 20 firefighters are training on it. The truck should be in service by mid-May, said Police/Fire Lt. Rick Caudill, the department's training officer.

        “It'll eventually be our first-out piece of equipment,” Lt. Caudill said. “It can go from a grass or car fire to a structure fire. It gives us versatility.”

        The truck has a 75-foot aerial ladder and a full complement of ground ladders and hose. It carries 500 gallons of water and serves as a pumper.

        Such trucks have become popular in the last several years because they can handle tasks that previously required multiple vehicles.

        That makes them particularly appealing to smaller departments, which sometimes are short on personnel.

        The long ladder will also help fight fires in the many large, two-story homes with steeply pitched roofs now being built in the community, Lt. Caudill said. The ladder will give firefighters stability when they are working on the roofs of burning buildings.

        “It's just very, very hazardous to try to work off a ground ladder on those,” Lt. Caudill said. “It doesn't take long (for a fire) to eat away at the structural integrity of those roofs.”

        The Amberley department also maintains a 1988 fire pumper and a 1965 fire engine. Both of those trucks will remain in service, Lt. Caudill said.

        The village's combined police-fire department responded to 102 fire calls last year, including three major fires, Lt. Caudill said. The village contracts with neighboring departments to provide emergency medical services.

        The village covers five square miles and has about 3,200 residents.

        In Butler County, Monroe firefighters also have a new piece of equipment: a $290,000 fire pumper.

        That truck features its own air station that allows firefighters to refill their air bottles at the fire scene, carries its own power generator and has a 750-gallon water tank, Monroe Fire Chief Mark Neu said.


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