by Mark Huard
In August 25, 2015, the Fairfield/Benton Emergency Services Department was awarded a federal grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Program through FEMA. The award amount for the department was a total of $725,000. The federal government portion of the grant would total $694,477. The town of Fairfield is required to match 5 percent of the grant and that came to a total of $34,523. The grant was written for the purchase of a Quint Style Ladder Truck.
What is a Quint, you might ask? This is a multi-purpose apparatus that includes a pump, water tank, and also an aerial device. The truck was purchased from and built by Ferrara Fire Apparatus, of Hammond, Louisiana. The truck is a custom six man cab, on a Ferrara built chassis. It is equipped with a 2,000gpm pump, 400 gallon water tank, 77-foot steel ladder, an assortment of ground ladders, saws, and other hand tools.
This ladder truck will provide a great service to the towns of Fairfield and Benton that they have not had before. Also this makes the difficult task of firefighting a little safer and efficient for the department. This will allow the department faster and safer access to upper floors and roofs of buildings. The department responds to a vast area that includes several different occupancy types and sizes of buildings. The department covers around 84 square miles of territory, and responds to around 1,400 emergency calls for service a year. As chimney fire season is slowly creeping upon us this truck will be worth its weight in gold. As we all know trying to climb an aluminum ladder on a roof with two feet of ice and snow is not only difficult but extremely dangerous. This truck will allow the firefighters better access to the roof and possibly to stay off the roof all together. The department will be receiving three solid days of training from Ferrara in early September and also the members will be getting their time driving and pumping. Department policy requires all drivers to have 100 miles of driving on the apparatus, so don’t be surprised to see it driving on the roads.
As always, the department thanks the citizens of Fairfield and Benton in their continued support of the department and approving funding for advancing the department and service we provide.
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