The Plain Township Fire Department is expecting to have its ladder truck back in action soon.

The Plain Township Fire Department is expecting to have its ladder truck back in action soon.

In the meantime, Plain Township firefighters will respond to calls in a Columbus ladder truck.

"We have the ladder from Columbus as long as they don't need it," Chief John Hoovler told Plain Township trustees Feb. 16. "Ours should be finished by Wednesday or Thursday (of last week) but we will need to reschedule the recertification of the ladder."

When a ladder truck is damaged, the ladder apparatus must be recertified to ensure it is in proper working order, Hoovler said.

Trustee Dave Ferguson asked Hoovler if the inspection would be done at the repair shop in Springfield or once the truck was back in Plain Township. Hoovler said the truck can be inspected either place.

"If we're paying $100,000 for the repair, we want to make sure it's right," Ferguson said.

The ladder truck was damaged Feb. 2 when it hit a patch of ice and slide out of control while responding to a call at Tartan East Golf Club at 6140 Babbitt Road.

The ladder bucket hit a tree and the front end ran over a curb, causing damaged that will cost a total of $91,457.92 to repair. The township will pay an insurance deductible of $1,000, Hoovler said.

Hoovler said the township's insurance company the Ohio Township Association Risk Managment Authority was easy to work with and the insurance adjuster was on the scene within two hours of the accident.

When asked how much a new truck would cost, Hoovler said it would be more than $1-million. The current ladder truck is a 1997 model that was purchased for $625,000.

Hoovler also requested Feb. 16 that trustees approve another $2,267 to add a step to the ladder bucket, to make it safer for firefighters accessing a burning building from the ladder.

Fire Capt. Greg Ecleberry explained that if a firefighter is trying to access a building roof and is leaning out of the bucket, a colleague must steady the firefighter's.

With a step off the bucket, the firefighter would have better leverage when trying to access a building roof.

"You sold me when you said it was safer," said trustee Dave Olmstead.

The trustees then approved the additional $2,267.

Trustees also discussed purchasing additional equipment for the backup fire engine, Engine 121, so both trucks would be equipped with the same items.

Hoovler said air bags and rescue tools such as the spreaders and cutters for the "Jaws of Life," used to extract people from vehicles that have been damaged in an auto accident, cost nearly $40,000.

Hoovler also reported that repairs to the fire department's 2003 Chevrolet Impala, which needed front end and suspension repairs, cost about $1,700. The vehicle is equipped with a radio, lights and sirens and can be used by the chief or assistant chief to respond to emergency situations if one of their vehicles is being serviced. The vehicle also is used by fire inspectors, who have to visit various buildings in the department's coverage area, and by firefighters attending training off site.