The Palo Alto Fire Department will today officially induct a new $1.2 million aerial ladder truck into its fleet at an afternoon ceremony. Residents can see and tour the truck 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave.
The new Pierce Tractor Drawn Aerial Ladder Truck, referred to as a "Tiller truck," has a ladder than can reach 100 feet high, as opposed to the 75 feet reach of the 1998 ladder truck it's replacing. The new truck can also accommodate an additional person, up to 25 percent more equipment and has more storage for vehicle extrication, technical rescue operations and water evacuation equipment. The truck can also better maneuver "the narrow and dense Palo Alto streets and neighborhoods," the city said in a statement.
"We are excited to add this new Tiller truck to our fleet," Palo Alto Fire Chief Eric Nickel said in a statement. "It will provide the community with a dependable, safe, state-of-the-art apparatus that will enhance community service and safety for many years."
In June 2013, City Council approved $1.2 million for the purchase of the new truck. Under the City of Palo Alto's vehicle policy, aerial ladder fire apparatuses are to be replaced at 15 years and/or 50,000 miles. The current ladder truck, purchased in 1997, exceeds both the age and mileage guidelines, the city said.
The city also took advantage of a cooperative purchasing policy through the San Jose Fire Department to buy the new truck, saving the city an estimated 350 to 400 hours of labor and shortening the purchasing process by almost a year, according to the city.
The new truck joins six other Pierce engines that the fire department owns.
After today's ceremony, firefighters will demonstrate the new truck's capabilities as well as answer any questions.