WHITE LAKE — The White Lake Fire Department got a new piece of equipment on Thursday afternoon in the form of a ladder truck. According to Fire Chief Dale Brennan, the truck can function either as a ladder truck to add aerial fire suppression to a scene; the basket on the ladder can be used to aid in rescues of individuals that may be trapped in emergency situations; or act as an additional pumper truck.
The truck, a 1990 model 95-foot E One Platform with a 1,500 gallon pump on board, was purchased from Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus in Alabama. Prior to White Lake’s purchase, the truck was in service with the Orange County, Fla. fire service, when Brennan learned it was available for sale.
“We’ve been pursuing this since about December,” said Brennan. “Some of us went to Florida and looked at the truck.”
The truck cost the town about $161,000. The town made a down payment of $20,000 and the fire district board paid an additional $20,000. The town financed the remainder of the cost through BB&T bank.
“Brand new, that truck would have cost the town about $950,000 or more,” said Brennan.
The town has nine commercial structures that are three stories or taller within the town limits, according to Brennan. In studying possible firefighting scenarios and maintaining the town’s current ISO rating, the department saw a need for a ladder truck.
“We have a really good working relationship with the Elizabethtown Fire Department providing mutual aid with their ladder truck,” said Brennan.
Now, White Lake can assist other fire departments in the area with their ladder truck, according to Brennan.
“This is something we can afford to pay for and still have money there to maintain the fire department,” said Brennan.
According to Brennan, the purchase of the new ladder truck was the culmination of a three-year search both on the Internet and through various suppliers for an affordable truck.
“We simply couldn’t afford a new one,” said Brennan.
The Office of State Fire Marshal in Raleigh requires a pump test and a ladder test and the equipment to be structurally sound, said Brennan. The department already has had those tests performed and the truck passed all the required tests, said Brennan.