Harlan Fire Department acquires truck
The Harlan City Fire Department welcomed a new piece of equipment on Tuesday as the department’s new fire truck rolled into town fresh from the factory.
Harlan City Fire Chief Linette Hutchinson said the ladder truck has a 2,000 gallon per minute pump capacity.
“It can pump water, plus it has a 107-foot aerial ladder,” Hutchinson said.
She explained the truck would be a much needed asset should one of the taller buildings in Harlan, such as the high rise apartment building or Harlan ARH Hospital, require it.
“I also think of the shopping center, where it’s spread out,” Hutchinson said. “A lot of the older downtown buildings require an elevated stream to keep sparks knocked down. We also have apartments that are three stories on one side and two on the other. The truck can’t reach all of them, but it could reach quite a few if we had to do some sort of rescue or evacuation of the buildings.”
Hutchinson said the new truck is intended to replace one of the department’s older trucks.
She explained the new vehicle has a higher tipping load as well as automated stabilizers.
The firefighters will be required to go through training to learn to operate the truck proficiently.
“The manufacturer is going to send somebody to train us on the operation of the truck itself,” Hutchinson said. “Then, at another date they will send somebody down to train us on the aerial device.”
She said the ladder training alone will require approximately three days.
Hutchinson added she hopes to involve the other fire departments in the county in the training, so they will know how to operate the truck should the need arise. She noted it may take until later in the summer to get all the training necessary accomplished.
Hutchinson pointed out the truck was purchased mostly with federal grant funding, which she started searching for approximately seven years ago.
“The cost of a ladder truck can be close to $1 million or more,” she said. “I know the city doesn’t have the money for something like that, but I really wanted to get this truck. So, for the past seven years I kept writing grants. In the 2016 grant cycle, they actually approved it.”
Hutchinson said the truck will be the only one of its kind in the area and will be available for use by the surrounding counties if necessary.