NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – The Croton Falls Volunteer Fire Department is celebrating the arrival of its newest addition – a 75-foot ladder truck. The used fire engine was put up for auction by the Ardsley Fire Department, and Croton Falls was the lone bidder at $47,900.
“We always wanted a ladder truck, but it’s an exorbitant expense,” said Bob Daros, chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners. “New ones cost at least $700,000.”
The ladder truck brings the town’s total number of firefighting trucks to nine.
The ladder truck is a 1988 model, built by the Hahn Fire Apparatus Company of Hamburg, Pa. In addition to its expandable ladder, it is capable of pumping 1,500 gallons of water per minute.
“Now we can provide maximum protection. A 75-foot ladder can handle almost every fire in North Salem,” said Daros. “We can be there in a few minutes. We won’t have to rely on neighboring fire departments.”
Daros said the new equipment will enhance safety, and that firefighters will need training before the truck can be used.
“An extension ladder truck is much safer than a 30-foot ground ladder,” he said. “With some of the bigger houses around here, it was almost impossible to access them with a ground ladder. Of course, the firemen will have to learn how to operate the new ladder. We’ll all have more formal training before putting the truck into service."
Daros said the department should be ready to start using its new truck in about four weeks – “Just in time for chimney fires.”
Daros’s father, Harold, a 55-year member of the Croton Falls Fire Department, said, “We talked about a ladder truck for years. Every time the subject came up, we just never had the money. I thought I’d never see this day.”