Upper Arlington News

Fire-truck recall affects UA's Ladder 72


A possible problem with aerial devices on various models of Dublin-based Sutphen Corp.’s fire trucks has, for now, grounded a portion of Upper Arlington’s fire services.

Sutphen on Tuesday evening, July 22, instructed customers to stop using aerial devices on five models of the company’s fire trucks until further notice.

The recall followed a reported incident earlier Tuesday in which three firefighters in Hall County, Georgia, were injured after an apparent mechanical failure caused a five-section ladder to retract unexpectedly.

The Upper Arlington Fire Division, as well as fire departments in Columbus, Worthington and Genoa and Orange townships, operates Sutphen fire trucks affected by the recall.

Upper Arlington’s Ladder 72, which was purchased in 2012 and is the only one in the UAFD fleet capable of extending an aerial ladder up to 100 feet, is among the area trucks affected by the news.

UAFD public-information officer Dan Kochensparger said July 23 that the pump, hose and ground ladders on the SPH 100 model Ladder 72 still will be used in response to area fires, search and rescue calls and other emergencies.

While the division awaits further information from Sutphen, Kochensparger said, it has worked out contingency plans with fire departments in Norwich and Washington townships, should aerial ladders be needed within Upper Arlington.

Additionally, he said, the Columbus Division of Fire was able to “switch out” aerial devices from reserve trucks in its fleet and could provide aerial ladder services to Upper Arlington.

“We immediately changed our procedures, such that we told our firefighters not to use the aerial-ladder portion of the truck,” Kochensparger said. “Because of whom we normally run with (through mutual-aid responses) and the fact Columbus and Worthington were affected, we had to (implement) some contingency plans. If we need that capability, we still have people close by that can help us.”