City close to adding ladder truck

Published 8:20 pm Thursday, May 14, 2009

The city of Clanton’s fire fighting capabilities may soon be again improved as the city is completing negotiations to purchase a ladder truck.

The city council opened bids on the vehicle Monday but wanted more time to study the bids before awarding the contract to one of the two companies that submitted bids.

Fire Chief David Driver said this week the new ladder truck will put Clanton in compliance with ISO (the organization that determines fire insurance ratings) regulations. “The ISO requires ladder trucks for communities that have three or more buildings that are more than three stories tall or that require 3,500 gallons per minute fire (water) flow,” he said, adding Clanton certainly falls within the area of needing the ladder truck.

The bids on the truck ranged from $902,264 to $872,000 for a new truck and from $841,264 to $799,500 for trucks that have been used as demonstration trucks.

“The demo trucks are like new and will serve as purposes as well as a new truck,” Driver said.

He said the new truck would be housed in the downtown Clanton fire station due to it being centrally located within the structures the require a ladder truck in case of a fire at these locations.

Driver said several members of the Clanton Volunteer Force are already qualified to operate the ladder and that he is planning training sessions to certify those who are not. “We have the personnel who can do the training within our ranks,” he said.

Another $70,000 will be needed to equip the truck once it arrives.

The city has made application for a Firefighters Grant through FEMA to help finance the purchase of the other needed equipment for the truck.

Driver said the ladder truck could be in operation within the next few weeks if the city chooses to purchase one of the demo trucks.

“Meeting the ISO regulation of having a ladder truck is another step toward lowering the city’s insurance-rating number and hopefully reducing local fire insurance rates,” he said.