New nearly $1M ladder truck on the road to Gloversville

GLOVERSVILLE – City Fire Chief Beth Whitman-Putnam recently announced she was informed the new ladder truck is expected to arrive Monday.

The chief made a visit to the factory where the truck was being constructed last week to make a final inspection, which presented the opportunity for her to get behind the wheel and see the apparatus in action.

“She is beautiful. She is a workhorse, and she will be such an asset to the department and city,” Whitman-Putnam said. “It’s awesome.”

However, the chief said the new truck will make a short weekend stop in Verona, Oneida County, at the Turning Stone Casino, for FIRE 2014, which is an annual fire industry, rescue and EMS exposition hosted by the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs.

She said the truck will be on display at the event from today until Saturday and it is expected to arrive at the city Fire Department on Monday morning.

The chief said the event will give municipalities the chance to see the type of specification the city used for its apparatus.

The city needed a truck with an aerial platform with pumping capabilities that included at least a 100-foot aerial ladder, a 2,000-gallon-per-minute pump and a tank capacity of 500 gallons.

“It’s an honor because everyone that comes to this show can see it,” Whitman-Putnam said. “There are people that come from all over and not within just New York state.”

She said the people who deliver the new truck will also stay in the area for about a week to train the department on the many functions and uses of the new apparatus.

During that time, she said, each of the four battalions will be instructed on how to safely use many of the capabilities the new truck provides.

In August, the city decided it would buy a new ladder truck for nearly $1 million. The city had tried for years to get a grant from the federal government to pay for a new ladder truck, but was unsuccessful.

The aerial device is needed for reaching heights greater than two stories for rescue, fire suppression and other operations, Whitman-Putnam said.

“Right now we currently don’t have a ladder that can reach a third story window,” the chief said.

She also said the truck has the ability to carry special equipment that current trucks in the fleet can’t, such as a 35-foot ground ladder.

In May, a three-story barn was completely destroyed by a large fire and the Johnstown and Amsterdam fire departments were called to the scene for the use of their ladder trucks.

Whitman-Putnam said due to the mutual aid agreement with surrounding municipalities, the city will now be able to assist them if a similar fire ever occurred in their area.