WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Wilkes-Barre City Fire Department unveiled its newest fire truck Tuesday. The truck is a Tractor Drawn Aerial Ladder.
“The key thing with this is maneuverability. To be able to get it in and out of tight areas, urbanized areas. It should offer us another tool for the fire department and it should increase our aerial capabilities by 50 percent” Chief Jay Delaney of the Wilkes-Barre City Fire Department said.
Chief Delaney says the firefighters knew it would not be an easy feat to raise $1.2 million to buy the piece of equipment in a city that struggles with finances.
“No matter what aerial ladder you purchase, they’re expensive. So it took us five years pounding the pavement until we were able to come up with the financial resources to be able to do this,” Delaney said.
The truck was paid for by different grants. Chief Delaney says a lot of hard work and planning went into making this truck a reality for the firefighters.
“We worked with the manufacturer for the design phase, but we had a substantial amount of input. 181 pages worth is the contract for this piece of equipment. So my point is it was a great team of firefighters that weighed in on this an helped build this,” Chief Delaney said.
Now that the truck is finally here and ready, it’s time to get started on training. Six firefighters have already been trained by officials in Seattle. Those firefighters will train the rest of the firefighters in the department. Delaney says the ladder is one of the highest-reaching ladders in northeastern Pennsylvania, reaching about 107 feet high.
“It’s our goal within two or three months to have the ladder truck in service and that we feel 100 percent confident that we’re gonna be able to get the job done with this,” Chief Delaney said.