Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sun Valley to unveil new ladder truck

Ceremony set for Jan. 31 at Elkhorn Fire Station

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley Fire Department is set to unveil its new fire truck at noon on Friday, Jan. 31, at the Elkhorn Fire Station, 100 Morningstar Road.
    Both the old ladder truck used by the city and new truck will be there to showcase the improvement with the new model.
Sun Valley Fire Chief Ray Franco said, “It’s an incredible feeling to have this state-of-the-art piece of equipment. All the built-in safety features that come with the truck are great. It’s computerized, so it’ll actually stop you, if necessary.
    “The truck is fairly large, so you can get all the outriggers out and make a 360-degree turn if you were to go into a narrow street, instead of going into a narrow street where you can only set half of it up. The computer knows that, so it’ll only let you work one side.”
The truck has 500 horsepower, contains LED lights and has a much quieter cab, according to Franco. In addition, the truck will be able to generate water to fight fires much quicker, as it contains a 2,000-gallon-per-minute water pump.
“Our old ladder truck had the hydraulic jacks requiring us to have people on both sides and put pins on the jacks,” Franco said.
    “One of the big safety features with this is that there are no pins. The balance in the four outriggers is set up so if they lose pressure and lock up, the computer then takes over.”
    The outriggers are devices that stabilize the truck while the ladder is in use.
    With Pierce Manufacturing leasing the truck to the city, Sun Valley’s government will make an annual payment of $112,425 for a 10-year span, after which the city will own the truck.
    Sun Valley Mayor Dewayne Briscoe said he is very excited for the ceremony, and looks forward to having the public see the full benefits of the truck.

It’s an incredible feeling to have this state-of-the-art piece of equipment.”
Ray Franco
Sun Valley fire chief

    “It’s a relief off my mind to know that people are safe and secure,” Briscoe said. “The old truck failed us too many times, and this will be a major benefit to the city.”
    Last week, the Sun Valley and Ketchum fire departments worked together on training exercises to fully understand the features of the truck. The truck is expected to be operational by the time the ceremony takes place.
    Right now, Sun Valley is the sole party in the lease on the truck. Briscoe said the lease was written so Ketchum can easily take part as well. The two cities shared use of the old ladder truck. Ketchum has expressed interest in eventually discontinuing use of the old truck but city officials have said they believe it is safe to use in the interim.
    Briscoe and new Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas plan to meet to discuss multiple common issues between the two cities, including the fire truck, funding for the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance and the Fly Sun Valley Alliance.
    Sun Valley Councilwoman Michelle Griffith had opposed the purchase of the ladder truck because she wanted to make sure the city of Ketchum would be a lease partner first. However, she is optimistic about a new era of cooperation.
    “If ever there were a time for the two cities to work together well, now is the time,” Griffith said.
    The truck will be paid for through local-option sales tax funds. The first payment on the lease is due in the fall.
Eric Avissar:

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