‘Our hopes are to have it in service in early March’
TRURO – The newest member of the Truro Fire Service’s fleet has finally arrived.
Chief Blois Currie picked up a new ladder truck on Monday to replace one in the fleet from the 1980s.
“It’s an awesome truck,” Currie said. He saw the Pierce Manufacturing custom-built truck in person for the first time at the end of January when he travelled to Appleton, Wisconsin, for final inspection. “It was a great experience going through the plant and seeing how everything was designed and built, from top to bottom.”
The million-dollar truck will respond to all the fire service’s major calls, including all flue fires, industrial fires (for example Colchester East Hants Health Centre or the Rath Eastlink Community Centre) and any calls at larger seniors homes.
“With this truck, we went from a ladder truck to having a platform,” said the chief. “This is a safe working platform for us, which will allow us to aid in any rescues we may be called to. We can actually put someone in the bucket and lower them to the ground. Our firefighters won’t have to carry people up or down the ladder.”
Comparing other aspects of the new apparatus to the older truck, which will stay in commission until all firefighters are trained and comfortable with using the new one, the new one is more environmentally friendly with a new diesel system and lower emissions, it is more user-friendly and quicker to set up.
“We can also respond to water rescues. The new apparatus has the ability to sidejack five degrees, and can go 30 degrees below grade, which is a good bonus especially with all the flooding we have around here,” Currie added.
While the career firefighters and members of the Truro Volunteer Fire Brigade haven’t had a chance to train with the apparatus yet, the time is soon to come.
“At this point, our training starts on Monday with all our staff and volunteers on the use of the truck. We will have a trainer from Pierce here for three days, and after that we will have driver training for the staff. Our hopes are to have it in service in early March,” he said.
Once the old truck is decommissioned, it will either be sold or go to surplus.
Firefighter Craig Matthews spent Tuesday morning polishing the truck.
“It’s beautiful. It’s a fantastic truck,” said Matthews, who volunteered for eight years before being hired on as a staff member 10 months ago. “I’m eager to learn more about it. I think it will be great for the community. It means more protection and more safety.”
Having volunteered with the brigade for the past 13 years, Daton Pearl said the apparatus is long overdue.
“It will definitely compliment the fleet we have here now,” he said. “I’m super excited to get her put in service and I’ve heard a lot of positive comments from the volunteers.”