A new 75-foot stick aerial fire truck is slated to arrive July 31 in Galion.
“The custom built SL75 has standard stuff on it, fire trucks are designed certain ways,” Galion Fire Chief Phil Jackson said, “(But) we upgraded it to suit what we do.”
The department forms a truck committee when they need to buy a new fire truck.
“We have representatives of every shift, a maintenance guy who is a firefighter and myself.” said Jackson. “Everyone has a specialty, I picked the color and made sure we stayed in budget to get all we needed with the money we had to spend.”
Jackson said the committee did a lot of research for the new truck.
“We measured buildings, taller buildings.” said Jackson said, “(We asked) what kind of reach we would get. It would (need to) be adequate for what we could get.”
The truck has a single axle which is can go through the skinnier streets of Galion.
“The truck has a mid mount ladder which put the weight over both tires.” Jackson stated, “When you have a mid mount you are losing the distance from the back.”
Jackson said the truck is compatible with neighboring fire departments with a mutual aid agreement with Galion Fire Department.
“Bucyrus and Springfield are 10 to 15 minutes away.” Jackson stated, “They have 100-foot platform trucks. It’s redundant to have the same thing. Not practical when we have agreements with departments. So we would have what we need, aerial trucks that are larger then ours.”
The chief said grants weren’t an option for new truck.
““I worked on getting grants first, the grants weren’t successful because we sold a fire truck in 2009,” Jackson said. “(We) had to prove the need for a new one, if we still had the truck and filled for grants. I think I could have a valid argument to get a FEMA grant. But the grant got denied and they finally put it into budget.”
“Originally the purchase was in the financial plan for 2017.” Jackson said. “with the low interest rates the council approved it for 2015.”
The cost of the truck is $695,000.
Reach Evans at 419-468-1117 ext. 2049 or on Twitter at @deborahevans31