Upper Arlington firefighters underwent training last week on the use of a 100-foot ladder truck, the newest addition to the division's fleet of emergency-response vehicles.
The 2012 ladder truck, delivered Nov. 16, will replace the 11-year-old Ladder 72 at the Reed Road fire station. It is the fourth ladder truck the Upper Arlington Fire Division has had in its history.
According to Dan Kochensparger, UAFD public information officer, firefighters underwent training on the new truck last weekend, and it's expected to be put into service this month.
Kochensparger said the new truck will be deployed as needed in Upper Arlington and communities with which the UAFD has mutual-aid agreements for emergency services. He added it will be particularly helpful in battling fires and responding to other emergency situations at a growing number of taller structures in the city, including condominiums along Tremont Road and a five-story hotel currently under construction on Lane Avenue.
"This replaces the only ladder truck we have in our fleet," Kochensparger said. "It certainly will assist us in emergencies that involving those higher-level buildings."
The city purchased the new ladder truck from Sutphen, a 122-year-old Amlin, Ohio-based manufacturer of fire apparatus; the company formerly had headquarters in both Columbus and Grandview.
The truck cost $920,000, compared to the 2001 model Ladder 72, which was bought for $655,900.
Kochensparger noted the purchase price was discounted by $150,000 after Sutphen agreed to accept the previous Ladder 72 truck on trade with plans to refurbish the older vehicle to sell it to another fire department.
"Some other department is going to have some reuse of this," he said. "That's kind of nice. Personally, I think it means our people were good stewards of (Ladder 72) during the time we've had it.
"We also would have paid over $1 million for this (new truck) without the trade-in."
Upper Arlington City Council unanimously approved the purchase of the new truck Nov. 13.
That move was made in compliance with a citywide system which tracks city vehicle's ages, mileage and histories of maintenance and repairs.
Whereas the 2001 Ladder 72 had 114,870 miles, it also lacked some of the latest equipment upgrades and technologies featured on newer models.
The new truck includes a design incorporating a 100-foot ladder with a "bucket" attached to the end, which has been the standard for the UAFD since it purchased its first ladder truck in 1972. However, the new truck features a more environmentally friendly emissions system, which uses high-temperature technology to produce cleaner exhaust, Kochensparger said, as well as greater space efficiencies for equipment.
Possibly most importantly, he added, the truck has a four-foot shorter turning radius despite being a longer vehicle.
The new truck also was funded without tapping into the city's general fund.