Being first to respond pays off for LVFD

By: 
KATHLEEN GILLULY
Outlook managing editor
Operation Captain Henry Fox shows off some of the functions of the department’s newly acquired ladder truck. Fox has been tasked with getting the truck ready for duty.
Operation Captain Henry Fox shows off some of the functions of the department’s newly acquired ladder truck. Fox has been tasked with getting the truck ready for duty.

Laurel’s Volunteer Fire Department is running out of room thanks to recent acquisitions of a ladder truck and Squad 5, a rescue truck which can haul all the gear firefighters might need at an emergency, including extrication tools.
The two new-to-the-department trucks were listed through the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation as surplus and available on a first come basis.
“I just happened to look at my email at the right time to request the trucks,” said LVFD Chief Brent Peters. “Getting Squad 5 will keep us from having to take a pumper truck to every car wreck. That will save us and the city money.”
The DNRC posts military vehicles that are no longer needed. They are available to the first agency that requests them—in these cases, Laurel—for the cost of shipping.
“Squad 5 came from Little Rock, Arkansas,” the Chief said. “It cost us $4,500. We wouldn’t have been able to get it without this program.” A new truck comparable to Squad 5 costs up to $500,000 brand new.
According to Operation Captain Henry Fox, the department has been in need of a ladder truck, too.
“There are several fires we could have used it at,” he said, “and it will make fighting fires safer for us, too.” He pointed out several apartment buildings and businesses where using a ladder truck could save lives.
“Breaking into the roof of a house from the top will be much easier without risking injury to a firefighter,” Fox said. Fox and the Chief are working with the manufacturer of the truck to learn its capabilities. The ladder truck was shipped from Ft. Mead, Maryland and cost Laurel about $6,900.

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