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sedona_fire.gifBig fire trucks sporting 100-foot ladders have been meandering the streets of Sedona for the past week and Sedona Fire District finally decided which one it?ll buy.
By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers

Big fire trucks sporting 100-foot ladders have been meandering the streets of Sedona for the past week and Sedona Fire District finally decided which one it?ll buy.

Wednesday, Feb. 28, the SFD Governing Board approved purchase of a Supthen SPH 100 — a truck with a 100-foot platform ladder — for $847,000. Supthen will deliver the truck in September.

SFD Fire Chief Matt Shobert told the board he wants SFD to pay for it by putting a sizable down payment on the truck — $60,000 to $100,000 — and pay for the rest over the next five to seven years as a lease-purchase.

The truck replaces SFD?s current 1984 75-foot ladder truck without a platform.

Four distributors brought their trucks to Sedona so SFD crews could drive and operate them before making a decision.

?I wanted to make sure it was going to work,? SFD Capt. Paul Lindfors said.

Lindfors and three other firefighters formed a committee in charge of researching new truck options and making a recommendation.

After spending over 1,000 hours on the

project, the committee recommended the Supthen truck.

Originally, committee members thought another 75-foot ladder truck would do the trick but changed their minds after researching, according SFD Battalion Chief Scott Schwisow. Schwisow also worked on the committee.

A 75-foot ladder is only effective when dealing with short buildings, according to Lindfors.

Safety procedures call for ladder trucks to be parked outside the collapse zone of a building when being used. Collapse zone is determined by multiplying 1.5 with the height of the wall that crews need to get on top of.

If crews need to reach the top of a 30-building, the truck needs to be parked 45 feet away. Using a 75-foot ladder, the truck could only be parked just over 30 feet away to reach the top of a 30-foot building — inside the collapse zone.

?Your risking a lot to save a lot,? Lindfors said.

Sometimes trucks have to park even farther away than the collapse zone due to space availability, according to Lindfors.

?You can?t always park a vehicle where it would be perfect,? Lindfors said.

Shobert told the board he was skeptical of buying a 100-foot ladder truck. He told the committee that for him to support the purchase, it had to bring the truck to Sedona and prove it could maneuver on all of the roadways.

SFD engineers drove Supthen?s truck through narrow sections of roadway in the district and Lindfors said they didn?t have any problems.

The new truck also has a platform at the end of the ladder unlike SFD?s current ladder truck.

A platform, according to Lindfors, has many advantages.

Firefighter safety is a main benefit of a platform. Crews can be raised to the top of buildings on the platform rather than having to climb wearing 75 pounds of equipment.

Also, enclosing walls prevents firefighters from falling off the platform and offer protection from flame, Lindfors told the board.

Platforms are also equipped with water, air, lighting and tools.

SFD?s current ladder truck served the district for over 20 years and Lindfors said he expects the same from the new truck.

?It?s easily a 25-year vehicle,? Lindfors said.

Before Supthen delivers the truck, it will be taken to other departments for demonstrations and then back to the shop to fix any kinks found during that time.

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