Hayden fire department adds ladder truck to fleet
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The fire department that serves residents in the Hayden area has reached a milestone by acquiring a $1 million piece of equipment that will allow them to fight fire from 77 feet in the air.
“This is definitely a major, substantial purchase,” said Ross Fralick, president of the West Routt Fire Protection District board.
The purchase was possible because of a tax increase passed by voters in the 200-square-mile taxing district in November 2013.
A ladder truck has been on the fire department’s wish list for years.
“We’ve got the biggest building in the county, which is the power plant,” Fire Chief Dal Leck said.
Multi-story buildings and plans for future hotels and school buildings also created the need for the equipment.
“We’re just trying to stay ahead of the curve,” Leck said.
The truck was built by Ferrara Fire Apparatus in Louisiana and was obtained with a lease purchase. It replaces a 33-year-old rescue truck and will be paid off over a 20-year period.
“That’s how we were able to afford it,” Leck said.
The truck has the ability to pump water, can seat five firefighters and will carry all the tools necessary for rescue operations.
“In the last few years, we’ve had incidents where we’ve had to go over the side of the canyon wall,” Leck said. “With this ladder, we can utilize the ladder in our rope systems, which is huge.”
The truck is also built with firefighter safety in mind.
“Not only is it better at doing its job, it’s better at making sure the first responders get there,” Fralick said. “It doesn’t do any good if the first responders don’t show up.”
With the addition of the ladder truck to the fire department’s fleet, Fralick said it is possible some residents might pay less to insure their homes. That is because the fire department expects to receive a higher score from the agency that determines insurance ratings.
In addition to the ladder truck, the fire department also purchased a new $178,000 ambulance this year.
A grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment funded 90 percent of the ambulance’s cost.
The ambulance is equipped with night vision that will help firefighters see hazards in the dark while they are responding to medical calls and taking patients to the hospital.
“We’re really excited to be able to provide such a high level of service,” Fralick said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland
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