Cranbrook, BC (Thursday, July 28, 2022) – Cranbrook’s firefighters have been busy as of late to familiarize themselves with a new important piece of fire equipment. A new aerial ladder truck has been introduced into the fleet of equipment for Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services (CFES).
Arriving in Cranbrook several weeks ago, members have undertaken intensive training to ensure the safe operation of the ladder truck. CFES will be officially putting the ladder truck into service this week.
The City’s previous ladder truck was at the end of its useful life, having been in service for the past 24 years. Not only had the City outgrown the 75-foot American Lafrance, but the ladder was experiencing significant reliability issues and there was a critical shortage of replacement parts for any required repairs.
A committee made up of administration, firefighters and service personnel helped determine exactly what the City needed from a new aerial ladder truck by planning and coordinating the design of the purpose-built apparatus. The truck is designed to adequately serve CFES for decades to come and to allow firefighters to handle each of the community’s current and potential risk factors.
“We feel very grateful to have this apparatus in our Fire Service fleet, as it complements the work we do very well, and was designed with the capacity to continue serving the residents of Cranbrook throughout it’s expected 20-year life-cycle,” said Scott Driver, Director of Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services. “Our citizens will be well served by this ladder truck, to service our existing multi-story apartment buildings and for those larger commercial, industrial and residential structures being developed in our community. It is only one tool in our arsenal, but it serves a very unique and critical role for our team, and for the citizens and businesses that live or work in large structures in our City.”
The new aerial ladder truck includes a 105-foot ladder that will provide a significantly greater reach for both rescues and the master water stream. The truck is equipped with a 5-inch diameter supply hose to ensure adequate water delivery capabilities. There are standpipe connections at the top of the ladder to assist when with older structures in the community. In addition, the truck carries ready-to-deploy standpipe hose bundles for rapid deployment inside stairwells, and are compatible with standpipe systems found in larger buildings that have sprinkler systems. The truck also carries six ground ladders ranging in height from 14 to 40 feet, to assist in multi-story rescues.
Ladder trucks have changed quite bit over the last 90 years, as have our communities. Pictured is Cranbrook's newest aerial ladder truck alongside the City's first ladder truck, proudly restored by many of the City's retired Firefighters Association members.
(Courtesy of Kyle Wilkinson)
The new aerial ladder truck is 60,000 lbs and 44-feet long, requiring comprehensive driver training and proficiency exams. Pictured is Captain Brown working with a member of the department, prior to qualifying.
At 105 feet, the new ladder reached 30 feet further than the City's previous ladder truck. Firefighters have been developing their ladder operation skills over the last few weeks in preparation for the truck's in-service date this week.