Sunday, March 8, 2009

Salisbury Fire Departments New Tower Ladder

The newest addition to the Salisbury Fire Departments fleet will soon be in service. Checking in at just over a million dollars is this 2009 Pierce Velocity sporting a 95 foot Tower Ladder. Overall length of the truck is 48 feet 61/2 inches and a road height of 10 feet 81/2 inches. The truck is painted with the new color scheme for the department of black over red. This truck will replace a 1980 CF mack with an American LaFrance straight ladder that was purchase used in 1994 when the the 1972 American LaFrance in service at the time was deemed unsafe. The face of Salisbury has changed tremendously in recent year and though this truck is definitely high dollar it was designed with a eye on the future as well as the current needs. One need not wander far in and around the City to see obvious life and property hazards not familiar to the landscape only 20 years ago.

On Riverside Dr. the multi story condos known as River place now stand where just a few years ago there were single story building and a convenience store. Just outside the City limits bur well within the SFD jurisdiction on Snow Hill Road stands the Allen Memorial Baptist Church. The Church itself is quite impressive and I understand this is just phase 1 of a larger complex to built on this site. Not far away from the church Marley Manor (not pictured) on the corner of Snow Hill Road and Robins Ave adds once again a number of taller building and population to be serviced by the SFD.

Another key site is the corner of Rt 13 South and College Ave. This building as well as the new multi-story Devilbiss Science Hall have been added to the Campus within the last 5 years and

there are many more projects afoot for the college. It should also be noted that Salisbury University has footed part of the cost of the new truck recognizing the benefit it gives the campus in the event of a serious event there.

Currently the new truck is housed at Station 16 on Cypress St. and personnel are undergoing training sessions on it's tower operation and participating in drivers trainings in order to be oriented with the new vehicles size and weight.

I had the good fortune last week to do a ride along with one of the training session and I was quite impressed with the way the truck handled in spite of it's size. Although this fine addition to the SFD fleet may appear costly, it should have a long and fruitful service in Salisbury and be a huge boon to the citizens it serves and the department as a whole.
In a future post I will have more photos of the truck in service.


Anonymous said...

Looks like a fine piece of apparatus and should serve the Citizens of Salisbury well over the next 15 years or so. It's just amamazing how much bigger and more capable fire trucks are these days. The Department my father was a member of for 40 plus years had an open cab type ladder truck that was purchased in the 40's. And it was much smaller.

By the way, didn't they used to call these trucks Hook & Ladders? The ladder part is obvious but why did they call them that? Have a great day!

Dolly Anne

Soapbox said...

Dolly Anne
Thank you for your comment and question. Actually the new truck should last 25 years or more before needing to be replaced.

Hook & Ladder is bit of a slang term or nickname for "Truck Companies" Vehicles refered to as "trucks" in the fire service usually have the misssion of working to ladder the building and to move ahead of the engine or hose company and pull down ceilings and walls to expose the fire. The ceilings are pulled with pikes, pike poles, or hooks, a long handled tool with a metal hook or pike on the end.

Since laddering a building and pullng the walls is their initial assignment the term "Hook & Ladder" company was used as a description of such a team.

The Ladder co. or Truck co. also has the added duty to enter a burning building as soon as possible to ventilate above the fire and perform initial search and rescue operations for trapped victims. These tasks are often done without the benefit of a protective hose line.