Valdosta Daily Times
December 22, 2018VALDOSTA — The Valdosta Fire Department will debut two new ladder trucks Christmas Day.One truck will be stationed at Engine 1, and the other will be stationed at Engine 2.Similar to the 1993 models, they’ve been upgraded to include hydraulic systems, electronic systems and safety features, Lt. Chad Roe said.Roe and an apparatus committee not only designed the new trucks but also the 1993 trucks. Roe is the lieutenant for Engine 1’s truck.“We have upgraded brakes, engine-braking systems that were not on the previous models,” he said. “It will make the job easier.”The ladders reach as high as 100 feet, fire officials said.A bid began last year for the two trucks, which was awarded to Sutphen an Ohio manufacturer, for about $2.5 million, Roe said.Fire crews began training on them about a week or two ago.“They can respond faster. We’ve had maintenance issues with the older ones, so now we won’t have those issues,” Roe said. “With trucks going out of service, they just age and wear and tear; so, now we’re going to be in service at all times.”Mayor John Gayle said as the City of Valdosta grows, equipment must be updated. He said maintenance for the old trucks was becoming costly.“It’s all for the safety of our people,” he said. “We want to make sure that we’re able to rescue, that we’re able to fight any type of fire that happens and all of these assets that we continue to update is designed to maintain the safety of our citizens.”The former models will be traded in and sold through the vendor Williams Fire, Roe said.