The Wall Volunteer Fire Department has a new apparatus that will help fight fires on multiple story buildings.
Within the last few years, the need for an aerial ladder truck has increased, because of the town's growth, along with more multi-story homes and commercial buildings being built.
In the past, if a two-story building or home caught fire, none of the volunteer fire departments had the proper equipment to fight it from above.
Wall's VFD now has the equipment to help rural firefighters reach the roofs of these buildings.
"If you’ve got a fire burning inside of a structure, you are going to want to allow the heat and the smoke to come up out of the structure and provide a survival space for anyone inside of the structure as well as your firefighters going in,” Rodney Born, Wall Volunteer Fire Department Chief, said.
The San Angelo Fire Department has ladder trucks, but because that equipment is city-owned, it’s not always readily available.
“That belongs to the taxpayers of San Angelo, so unless it’s a really dire emergency, we don’t want to call for San Angelo’s fire truck ladder to leave the city,” he said.
The aerial ladder truck will also help other surrounding volunteer fire departments in the area.
“If Christoval has a fire in one of their large homes that’s been down there or a fire near a school or something down there, then they would call for our assets here,” Born said.
Additionally Born said these apparatuses start from $750,000 to $1 million, which is a lot of money. Especially because volunteer fire departments' main sources of revenue come from community fundraisers and grants.
Looking online, Born said he found a deal for an American-made truck that was originally used in Iowa, then sold to a Canadian fire department.
“We paid $25,000 Canadian dollars for it, which is about $18,800 American dollars,” he said.
The fire truck will still need to be outfitted with items such as decals and new radios. In total, the amount will be approximately $35,000.